KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Federal, state, local and voluntary agencies are working in partnership to help Missouri residents following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred in late May. The following is an update of their activities to date:
- In the less than two weeks since President Bush issued a major disaster declaration, FEMA has approved a total of $516,795 in Individuals and Households Program grants. This program makes aid available for temporary rental housing, for essential repairs needed to make residences safe, sanitary and functional, and to meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other programs, such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property and transportation expenses.
- To date, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $196,900 in low-interest disaster loans. The SBA is the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery for owners of private property, including homeowners, renters, non-farm businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations. SBA loans cover costs of repair or replacement of damaged real estate, personal property and business assets not fully covered by insurance or other aid.
- A variety of assistance has been provided by local, regional and federal agencies including Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and AmeriCorps. Established statewide organizations including Missouri Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the Missouri Interfaith Disaster Response Organization, the Missouri Disaster Recovery Partnership and Community Based Organization Active in Disaster have assisted in both response and recovery efforts.
- Residents and business owners in declared counties who sustained damage or loss can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. Phone lines will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT seven days a week until further notice. After calling to apply, people can call the FEMA Helpline at the same number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to check on the status of their applications or receive further information on relief programs and services. To date, more than 600 people have applied for assistance.
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