Charleston, WV -- More than 60 West Virginians called to apply for disaster assistance on Aug. 20, 2003 - the final day that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free number was available to accept applications. More than $23 million in state and federal assistance has already been approved to help those who were affected by the severe storms, flooding and landslides beginning June 11 and lasting through July 15, 2003.
Federal and state disaster officials offer the following 60-day assistance summary:
- 5,068 individuals in 19 disaster-declared West Virginia
counties applied for federal and state assistance, including 61 calls on Aug.
- More than $16 million has been approved in awards
and low-interest disaster loans to help West Virginians recover from the storms:
- $7,642,690 has been approved in Housing Assistance awards for rental assistance and home repairs.
- $2,424,181 has been approved in Other Needs Assistance awards for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster.
- $6,530,700 has been approved in U.S. Small Business
Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans, including 311 home loans
and 35 business loans.
- During the recovery operations, 18 inspectors were visiting those who reported
damaged property when registering for assistance. Ninety-eight percent of
the 4,591 home inspections issued have been completed.
- People living or working in the 19 counties declared for
Individual Assistance whose jobs have been affected by recent severe storms
may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). To date, nearly
$5,000 has gone to help those unemployed as a direct result of the
disaster. The deadline for individuals in Preston County to submit
applications with their local unemployment office is today, Aug. 27, 2003.
For those in Marion County, the deadline is Sept. 3, 2003. The
deadline to apply for DUA has passed for all other declared counties.
- People who are suffering the effects of stress associated
with the recent severe weather, should seek assistance from their local office
of mental health. A FEMA grant of $330,000 to the State of West Virginia
makes funds available for crisis counseling.
- For information about Disaster Legal Services, including
assistance with insurance claims, landlord/tenant and other housing problems,
home repair contracts, and replacement of legal documents, call 1-866-989-8227.
Charleston-area residents may call 304-558-7993 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday.
- Three long-term recovery committees have been established to address West
Virginians disaster-related unmet needs. The Northern, Central and Southern
Long-Term Recovery Committees encourage individuals to contact their local
chapter of the American Red Cross or their local Catholic Charities if additional
help is needed.
- Sixteen counties have also been declared for the full range o...