ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Officials of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management (CCPS-DEM) report that, to date, $13,848,529 has been disbursed in aid to victims of Hurricane Ivan.
Since President Bush issued a disaster declaration on September 18, more than $7.5 million has been issued in housing assistance and over $2.2 million granted to cover other needs such as medical and dental expenses, personal property, transportation and funeral costs. The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more that $4.1 million in low-interest loans for homeowners, business owners and renters.
The following is a summary of response and recovery activity since President Bush declared 29 counties eligible for federal disaster assistance in the aftermath of Ivan:
- Applications for individual assistance have been received from 6,693 residents.
- Disaster housing assistance checks totaling $7,533,535 have been disbursed to residents for rental assistance and home repairs.
- Other Needs Assistance, which provides money for necessary expenses and serious needs not covered by insurance such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, and moving and storage, totals $2,190,594.
- 4,231 property inspections (95%) have been completed.
- The SBA has issued 4,680 low-interest disaster loan applications (3,629 to homeowners, renters; 1,051 to businesses) and has approved $4,124,400 in low-interest loans to qualified applicants.
- 4,294 people visited FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) while in operation. All centers are now closed.
Crisis Counseling Available
Federal funding for crisis counseling is available in those North Carolina counties damaged by Hurricane Ivan until December 17. Individuals in those counties can get immediate assistance by calling the NC CARE-LINE at 1-800-662-7030 or 1-877-452-2514 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired for referral to one of three local mental health agencies: the Foothills Area Program, serving residents of Burke, Caldwell and McDowell counties; the Smokey Mountain Local Management Entity, serving residents of Haywood, Jackson and Macon counties; and, the Western Highlands Local Management Entity, serving residents of Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania and Yancey counties.
FEMA Registration and Information
Homeowners, renters and business owners in disaster-declared counties have until Friday, December 17, 2004 to apply for assistance by calling the toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. These toll-free telephone numbers are available 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week until further notice. If possible, try calling in the evening after 6 p.m. or on weekends when call volume often is lighter. Loan applications to the SBA for disaster-related losses must also be submitted by December 17. Individuals can now go online to register for assistance and to find additional recovery information at http://www.fema.gov.
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.