Baltimore, MD -- Maryland residents have received just over $30 million in disaster aid in the four 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 $16 million in housing assistance and $4.2 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.
- 14,447 applications for individual assistance have been received from residents in the 23 declared counties and city of Baltimore.
- $16.3 million have been disbursed to residents to assist with temporary housing and home repairs.
- $4.4 million in Other Needs Assistance, which provides money for necessary expenses and serious needs not covered by insurance such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, have been disbursed.
- 9,221 property inspections have been completed.
- 11,864 applications for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans have been issued
- $9.6 million in disaster assistance loans have been approved.
- More than 6,600 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.
- $525,564 has been approved for projects to rebuild Maryland's infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Isabel.
- 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 are 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., seven days a week. The deadline to register is November 18, 2003.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.