RICHMOND, Va. – Federal and state disaster officials announced today that more than $11.3 million in disaster assistance grants and loans has been approved for victims of Tropical Depression Gaston since the Sept. 3 presidential declaration.
Here is a summary of activities for the period ending Oct. 28, 2004:
In the eight weeks since President Bush issued the disaster declaration, 5,077 homeowners, renters and businesses have registered for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Registration clears the way for a variety of grant and loan programs to cover uninsured losses for individuals, and low-interest loans for businesses.
FEMA and Virginia have approved $7,607,840 to pay for temporary housing, basic home repairs and essential needs. The funds include $5,387,215 for housing assistance and $2,220,624 to cover other needs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has sent out 3,674 disaster loan applications and approved more than $3,698,000 in low interest loans. These loans serve as the government’s primary form of long-term recovery assistance. Individuals who do not qualify for a loan may be considered for a grant to cover serious unmet disaster-related needs, but first they must complete the SBA loan application.
If you sustained damage from Gaston, you are encouraged to apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. Telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also apply on-line at www.fema.gov. The registration period ends Tuesday, Nov. 2.
The Sept. 3 declaration covers the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, and the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent and Prince George.
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.