ATLANTA, Ga. -- Nearly 2,000 Tennesseans took the opportunity to apply for federal disaster assistance as a result of April's deadly tornado outbreak which ravaged 15 Tennessee counties. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has compiled the following statistics regarding the disaster assistance registration process.
- As of June 5th, 2006, the last day for disaster assistance registration, 1,994 Tennesseans have registered for disaster assistance and FEMA has disbursed $1,359,227.52 in federal grants through its Individuals and Households (IHP) programs.
- Of the federal funds distributed by FEMA in Tennessee, $712,584.68 has gone to applicants for rental assistance and for housing repairs not covered by insurance.
- The remaining $646,642.84 has been disbursed for Other Needs Assistance which includes medical and funeral expenses, replacement of personal possessions and other uninsured losses.
- Following the disaster, 1,226 storm victims visited Disaster Recovery Centers where they received help from experts in disaster recovery. The centers closed May 5th, 2006.
- Free disaster legal assistance also is offered to storm victims through an arrangement with the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association. For help with disaster-related legal issues, call Tennessee Bar Association 1-866-336-8276. The speech or hearing impaired may call FEMA's TTY line, 1-800-462-7585.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers disaster loan assistance for businesses that experienced economic damage as a result of the tornado outbreak, for more information you can call toll-free, at 1-800-659-2955.
- FEMA urges property owners and builders to consider adding a specially constructed shelter room to both new and existing homes. A safe room is designed to provide a space where you, your family and pets can survive a tornado. According to information on the FEMA Web site shelters built below ground level provide the greatest safety, but a shelter built in a first floor interior room can also provide effective protection.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.