FRANKFORT, Ky. -- In the 30-days since President Bush declared major portions of Kentucky disaster areas 7,897 households and businesses have applied for assistance from available state and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs. More than $24.3 million in disaster aid has been approved. Twelve counties were added to the original, June 10, 66-county declaration and their residents are now eligible for disaster-related Individual Assistance (IA) programs.
"In the past week alone nearly 600 homeowners, renters and businesses have applied for disaster assistance," said Pat Seaman, deputy federal coordinator for Kentucky disaster recovery. "It's great that people realize that we can help throughout the long-term recovery process," Seaman said. "But we can't help if you don't register."
Those who have damages (not covered by insurance) that occurred during the storms between May 26 and June18 are urged to call FEMA's toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). Phone lines are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT and CDT), until further notice.
Approved disaster assistance to date:
- Grants totaling $10,357,250 have been approved for individual housing assistance (includes temporary housing, repair, replacement, and permanent housing construction).
- $5,939,644 has been approved for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grants. Other needs include disaster-related expenses or serious needs such as personal property, medical, dental, transportation, etc.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $8,099,900 in low-interest disaster-related loans. There have been 4,150 loan applications issued and 821 applications accepted.
- The SBA is urging homeowners, renters and businesses to promptly return their completed applications. SBA officials say that there are several reasons why it's very important to get the applications filled out as completely as possible and returned:
- The application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for each applicant.
- If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be automatically referred to other available disaster assistance programs, including grants.
- SBA loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance.
- Interest rates may be as low as 2.875 percent for individuals and 2.75 percent for businesses.
- Nearly 96 percent of requests (6,714 of 7,002) for FEMA housing inspections have been completed.
- 1,631 people have visited Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) since June 18. The Magoffin and Martin County fixed DRCs, will be closing on July 14 and July 15, respectively. A visiting DRC will be in Pike County July 15 through July 17 at Belfry Courthouse, 25320 US Hwy. 119 North, in Balfry. It will then be in Johnson County July 19 and July 20 at Johnson County Community Center, 232 Preston St., in Paintsville. The hours will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Deadlines to register for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are approaching. Deadlines depend on the date a county was declared eligible for the program. Information and applications are available at local Department for Employment Services offices.
- At the request of the state, engineers from Hazard Mitigation have been deployed and are working throughout Kentucky to identify and facilitate Hazard Mitigation Grant Program pr...