MADISON, Wis. -- With the August 18 application deadline less than three weeks away, Wisconsin residents affected by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes have been approved for more than $8,629,577 million in federal disaster assistance to date, according to the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM).
Residents and business owners living or working in one of the disaster-declared counties who sustained damage or loss can apply 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., Monday through Friday, through August 18, 2004.
The assistance total includes funds for Individual Assistance, Crisis Counseling administered through the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans and Public Assistance to help state agencies, local governments and certain eligible non-profit agencies. Details are outlined below:
- 5,858 individuals from the 44 disaster-declared counties for Individual Assistance have called to apply (See county specific application numbers and grant figures on page 2).
- $3,653,733 been approved in Disaster Housing Assistance grants, for repairing disaster-damaged, uninsured or underinsured homes to a safe, sanitary and functional condition and for temporary disaster rental assistance.
- $828,325 has been approved in Other Needs Assistance grants, which may include grants for medical, funeral, personal property, transportation and other eligible expenses.
- $3,449,300 has been approved in SBA low-interest disaster loans.
- $187,355 has been approved for Crisis Counseling services to help affected residents cope with the emotional consequences of a disaster. The number to call for assistance is 414-963-6410 for those in Milwaukee only, and 866-422-3742 for residents of other disaster-declared counties.
- $16,565 has been obligated for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, which is administered by the state and funded by FEMA.
- $494,299 in Public Assistance has been approved for infrastructure projects such as road, bridge and dam repairs.
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 Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.