SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that Independence County had been added to the list of Arkansas counties eligible for federal funding to help pay for damage to infrastructure from severe storms, flooding and landslides that began on April 19.
Under the federal disaster declaration, state and affected local governments receive 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and the restoration of damaged public facilities. Certain private, nonprofit organizations may be eligible for assistance as well. Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy, Stone, Washington and Woodruff counties were included in the May 7 disaster declaration, which does not include assistance to individuals.
State Individual Assistance Is Available
Individuals in 18 Arkansas counties who had uninsured losses to their primary residences due to flooding and severe storms in April have until Monday May 24 to apply for disaster recovery assistance from the State. Counties declared disasters by Governor Mike Huckabee include: Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Crawford, Franklin, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Newton, Randolph, Scott, Searcy, Stone, Washington, and Woodruff counties. Arkansas is one of the few states with a Governor’s Disaster Fund, designed to help individuals when federal assistance is not available.
Temporary Housing Assistance Grants, for victims whose primary residences were destroyed or are uninhabitable as a result of the storms, are available through Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). The program offers one month of assistance for pre-disaster renters and up to three months for pre-disaster homeowners.
The Individual and Family Grant Program, (IFG) administered by Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), assists disaster victims with serious needs or necessary expenses that were incurred as a result of the disaster. Disaster victims may apply for the IFG Program by making an appointment by telephone with their county’s DHS office. The number for each DHS office can be obtained by calling ADEM. The deadline for applying for state assistance is 4 p.m. Monday, May 24, 2004.
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.