BEVERLY, Mass. -- Two weeks after the presidential disaster declaration, more than $1 million in state and federal disaster aid has been approved to help Massachusetts residents recover from flood-related losses resulting from the heavy April rainfall.
State Coordinating Officer Cristine McCombs, acting director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), said that the number of total applicants was expected to rise as homeowners, renters and businesses realize that aid is available and that their insurance may not adequately cover all losses.
"We are committed to getting people back on their feet as quickly as possible," Federal Coordinating Officer James N. Russo said, "and will continue to process disaster claims until all residents have received the recovery aid to which they are entitled."
The following is a summary of ongoing recovery efforts, close of business, May 5:
To date, 835 applicants from the five declared counties (Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcester) have called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) to apply for state and federal aid.
Of these applicants, 85 percent have been approved for the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) grants that total $1,009,175.
543 individuals and families have been approved for Housing Assistance of $940,086 to help with temporary housing and essential home repairs.
152 residents have been approved for $69,089 in Others Needs Assistance to help meet serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other programs. Examples include personal property replacement, along with moving and storage, transportation and other necessary expenses.
- 542 applications have been issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for low-interest home repair/personal property loans to homeowners and renters, along with 54 business loan applications.
- 543 individuals and families have been approved for Housing Assistance of $940,086 to help with temporary housing and essential home repairs.
Thus far, FEMA inspectors have completed 667 inspections of damaged property. Most were completed within three days of initial registration, depending on applicant and inspector schedules.
Six Community Relations outreach teams continue to work with local officials and organizations in the declared counties to inform residents and businesses about available state/federal disaster assistance programs. The teams also go door-to-door, encouraging those with damages to apply for assistance.
- The American Red Cross provided emergency housing assistance to approximately 25 flood-damaged families and distributed numerous cleanup kits. State and federal coordinators continue to work closely with the Red Cross and other voluntary agencies to identify and help meet any recovery needs that may exist.
Residents and business owners with flood-related losses are urged to begin the application process immediately by calling, toll-free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Trained personnel are available to take applications from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday until further notice.
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 proac...