COLUMBIA, Mo. -- In response to false rumors regarding the ongoing recovery from the recent ice storms, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) today released the following fact sheet:
RUMOR: FEMA will reimburse anyone who has purchased a generator in recent weeks.
FACT: FEMA reimburses for generators only when Individual Assistance has been approved, and only in cases of documented medical need. Because the recent ice storms did not result in widespread uninsured damage to primary residences, Individual Assistance has not been approved. Therefore, FEMA cannot reimburse for generator purchases, even in cases of documented medical need.
RUMOR: FEMA is providing no assistance in response to the ice storms.
FACT: FEMA’s Public Assistance program has been approved for 40 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis in response to the December 2006 and January 2007 winter storms. Public Assistance helps in the restoration of community infrastructure by providing supplemental financial assistance to state and local governments, as well as certain non-profits. This assistance includes eligible reimbursement for the cost of shelters, warming stations, food, and other emergency services provided by local governments.
RUMOR: No assistance is available to individuals who have suffered losses in the recent storms.
FACT: Assistance is available for those in need. The American Red Cross is taking the lead in addressing the needs of Missourians adversely affected by the ice storms. Please direct calls to: American Red Cross, 1-866-GET-INFO (438-4636) or to the Missouri Disaster Hotline, 1-888-377-2100.
RUMOR: When making repairs, FEMA and SEMA recommend hiring only FEMA- or SEMA-approved contractors.
FACT: FEMA and SEMA do not endorse or approve private contractors. Anyone claiming to be a FEMA- or SEMA-approved repairperson should be reported to local law enforcement officials and/or the Attorney General Fraud Hotline, 1-800-392-8222.
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.