BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland residents have received just under $75 million in disaster aid in the two months since the state was declared a federal disaster area due to Hurricane Isabel.
According to state and federal officials from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the money represents more than $20 million in housing assistance, $7.1 million in assistance for other needs such as personal property, transportation and medical expenses, $40.2 million in low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and more than $7.7 million in funds to rebuild infrastructure.
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.
- THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN EXTENDED. THE NEW DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 8, 2003.
- 16,858 applications for individual assistance have been received from residents in the 23 declared counties and the city of Baltimore.
- $20,052,080 has been disbursed to residents to assist with temporary housing and home repairs.
- $7,186,844 in Other Needs Assistance, which provides money for necessary expenses and serious needs not covered by insurance such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property or transportation, has been disbursed.
- 11,102 property inspections have been completed.
- 13,789 applications for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans have been issued.
- $40,257,000 in disaster assistance loans has been approved.
- More than 8,500 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.
- $7,722,634 has been approved for projects to rebuild Maryland's infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Isabel.
- $722,000 in direct federal aid for specific response and recovery projects.
- To assist those with temporary housing needs, FEMA and the state have provided interim housing by setting up 169 travel trailers and two mobile homes on approved sites with 140 units now occupied.
The toll-free hotline for Maryland Department of Human Resources is 1-888-756-7836, for individuals who may need assistance from local or state departments or agencies. Those with questions about their insurance may call the Maryland Insurance Administration at 1-800-492-6116.
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 new deadline to register is December 8, 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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.