RICHMOND, Va. -- More than 93,000 Virginians called to apply for disaster assistance from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) after Hurricane Isabel, federal and state officials said.
As of January 15, 2004, $257 million in state and federal assistance has been approved for individuals and businesses that suffered damage from Hurricane Isabel.
Federal and state disaster officials provide the following summary of assistance efforts to date:
- 93,139 individuals in 99 disaster-declared jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia have applied for federal and state assistance.
- 20,417 people have visited Disaster Recovery Centers opened throughout the Commonwealth.
- $74,079,600 in low-interest disaster loans approved by U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for more than 3,058 homes and businesses.
- $32,442,862 approved in Housing Assistance for temporary rental assistance and minimal home repairs.
- $19,410,227 approved in Other Needs Assistance grants for necessary expenses and serious needs unmet by other assistance programs as a result of the disaster.
- $105,000,000 approved for debris removal, emergency protective services and permanent work.
- $25,937,544 approved to support life-sustaining missions. These funds were used to support emergency needs such as water, ice, and generators at critical public facilities.
Hurricane Isabel made landfall on September 18, 2003. Altogether, 100 Commonwealth jurisdictions were declared disaster areas for infrastructure, which made federal funds for payment of 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal and emergency services related to the hurricane, including requested emergency work undertaken by the federal government.
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.