COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In just six weeks since a federal disaster declaration was issued for Ohio’s spring flooding, more than $19.7 million in state and federal assistance has been approved for disaster victims.
To date, 33,762 people have registered for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment. Both lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
“There may still be people in the designated counties who are eligible for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program but have not applied,” said Dale W. Shipley, state coordinating officer for the disaster recovery and executive director of Ohio Emergency Management Agency. “If you had damage, call your insurance agent and then call FEMA if you need to start the assistance process.”
At the close of business Thursday, 9,434 housing assistance grants totaling $11,851,281 had been approved.
Another 6,935 grants totaling $4,496,288 have been approved to meet other serious disaster-related needs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 259 low-interest disaster loans totaling $3,366,100.
FEMA has completed 31,734 inspections of homes where flood and storm damage was reported.
Since the June 3 declaration, which authorized federal assistance, residents and business owners in 23 counties have been declared eligible by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Residents of the 23 counties have until August 2 to register for aid. Eligible counties are Athens, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Geauga, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Noble, Perry, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit and Tuscarawas. The disaster declaration covers storm and flooding damage incurred between May 18 and June 21.
The SBA has issued 15,198 loan applications to homeowners, renters and business owners. Officials urge applicants to complete their applications as soon as possible, even if they have not received a final settlement from their insurance company. If the application is not returned it will delay or prevent receiving other forms of disaster assistance.
The Ohio EMA coordinates State assistance and resources during an emergency and prepares the state for all hazards through planning, training, exercises and funding activities at the state and local level. This includes providing assistance to individuals and administering state and federal assistance to individuals and governmental entities recovering from disaster-related damage and costs. Ohio EMA coordinates homeland security funding, weapons of mass destruction training, anti-terrorism planning and training, and assists local and state agencies determine homeland strategies and priorities.
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.