COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The federal disaster declaration for last weekend’s ice storm will help local governments with their emergency protective and life safety actions. This declaration does not include the federal Individual Assistance program. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, and many other voluntary organizations are providing assistance to individuals. Authorization of the Individual Assistance program is generally based on widespread, UNINSURED damages to primary residences.
The disaster declaration is to help local governments with their emergency protective lifesaving measures and to clear debris from public roads so local emergency services can reach residents. The declared jurisdictions are Barry, Barton, Callaway, Camden, Christian, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Montgomery, Newton, Osage, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Louis, Stone, Warren, Webster and Wright counties and the City of St. Louis.
“Missourians are urged to contact the insurance agent for their homeowners or renter’s policy and provide their homeowners damage information. Citizens who have uninsured damages are urged to submit the information to their local city or county officials. This information will be collected during joint damage assessment visits with local governments,” said Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.
Local governments and voluntary organizations are operating shelters and warming centers, deploying generators for critical public facilities such as water plants, and securing emergency food and water for local citizens.
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is working closely with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, such as the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, United Way, and AmeriCorps, as well as faith-based disaster response organizations such as the United Methodists, Catholic Charities, Southern Baptists, Lutherans, Mennonites, Convoy of Hope, many local churches and community based organizations.
Citizens who have suffered damages are urged to call the American Red Cross 24-hour hotline at 1-866-438-4636 (1-866-Get-Info). This hotline will give citizens information on shelters, and will discuss immediate needs such as emergency food, waters, and other assistance.
Governor Blunt has established a Donations Hotline 1-888-377-2100 for citizens who wish to donate their time, money or food to help Winter Storm victims. And citizens who need community resources are encouraged to contact either the ARC or the Donations Hotline. This Hotline number is operated from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.