BALTIMORE -- Maryland residents have received just under $18 million in disaster aid in the three weeks since the state was declared a federal disaster area due to Hurricane Isabel.
According to state and federal officials from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the money represents more than $14 million in housing assistance and $3.5 million in assistance for other needs such as medical expenses, personal property and transportation.
The following is a summary of the response and recovery activity since President Bush declared the state eligible for federal disaster assistance on September 19.
- Applications for individual assistance have been received from 13,458 residents in the 23 declared counties and city of Baltimore.
Disaster housing assistance checks totaling more than $14.2 million have been disbursed to residents to assist with temporary housing and home repairs.
Other Needs Assistance, which provides money for necessary expenses and serious needs not covered by insurance such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, and moving and storage, totals $3.5 million.
FEMA inspectors have completed 8,259 property inspections.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued 10,858 low-interest disaster loan applications for homeowners, renters and businesses, and has approved $2.8 million in disaster assistance loans.
More than 5,000 people have visited FEMA/MEMA/Local Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) since they opened. Representatives of state, federal, and voluntary agencies, including loan officers from the SBA, are on-site to provide information and answer questions and concerns. There are currently 13 DRCs operational in the hardest hit areas of the state.
All Maryland counties and the city of Baltimore have been approved for Public Assistance to help with eligible costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repairs to road systems, buildings and equipment, utilities, parks and other facilities. A payment of $115,000 has been approved for the first of many projects designed to help Maryland's communities recover from Hurricane Isabel and be better prepared for future storms.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation for individuals who live or work in the declared disaster areas and are unemployed or lost income as a result of the disaster. Deadline to apply is October 23, 2003.
- Relief supplies are still needed by thousands of Marylanders trying to rebuild their lives after the storm. The Donation and Volunteer Hotline, sponsored by MEMA, FEMA, and the Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, has a list of much needed items, such as rubber gloves, scrub brushes, coats, towels and wash cloths, and cleaning and rebuilding supplies. The hotline number is 1-877-868-4954 and is answered from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m., Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.
Individuals may apply for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY: 1-800-462-7585 for speech or hearing impaired. Hours ...