LA CROSSE, Wis. -- With just two weeks left to register for assistance, Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that more than $11.3 million has gone to residents of the 14 Wisconsin counties affected by the Aug. 18-31 storms and flooding.
Thursday, October 25 is the deadline for registration for FEMA individual assistance. That is the same deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses to submit applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Crisis counseling will also be available until October 25 to those impacted by the storms and flooding in Crawford, Kenosha, La Crosse, Racine, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties.
More than 4,500 Wisconsin households have registered for assistance, with an average of about 12 applications daily in October. More than $6.3 million in housing assistance has been approved under the Individuals and Households Program.
This assistance may be used for temporary disaster housing and the repair of disaster-damaged, uninsured homes to a safe, sanitary and functional condition. More than 3,800 homes have been inspected by FEMA since the disaster was declared. Inspections have been done, on average, in less than three days from the time of application.
In addition, more than $371,000 has been approved for individual expenses through the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program for serious, disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. As of Oct. 9, more than 99 percent of the approved individual assistance funds have been dispersed to the applicants.
FEMA received a total of 146 requests for Public Assistance (PA) from local governments in the five counties approved for PA which include: Crawford, La Crosse, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties.
With PA grants, FEMA provides 75% of eligible costs for emergency response efforts taken to protect lives or property, debris removal, and repair of damaged public facilities like schools, water treatment plants, utility systems, parks, bridges and roads. The state of Wisconsin provides 12.5 percent and the applicant provides 12.5 percent of the cost.
Wisconsin will also receive an amount from FEMA under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program equal to 20 percent of the total federal funds allocated in the Public Assistance and Individual Assistance Programs for this disaster declaration. This percentage reflects five percent additional funding because Wisconsin has an approved enhanced state hazard mitigation plan in place. These grants are provided to the state for projects that will reduce the loss of life and property in future disasters.
Here is a breakdown of FEMA Housing and Other Needs Assistance by county:
|as of 10/10/07||Amount Dispersed||$6,636,944.00|
Individuals and businesses may register for assistance online at www.fema.gov anytime or by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Applicants may also call those numbers to reach the FEMA Helpline to check on the status or update their applications. The Helpline is closed Sundays and federal holidays.
As of Oct. 9, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued more than 4,100 home and business loan applications. SBA officials encourage anyone who has received an application from the SBA to return it as soon as possible in order to be eligible for further assistance. Deadline for turning in SBA physical loan applications is October 25.
SBA has approved 177 loans for a combined total of $4,663,100 as of Oct. 9 to homeowners, renters and businesses of any size for property losses not fully covered by insurance. In addition, small businesses may receive loans to help provide working capital funds to recover from the disaster's economic impact.
Nearly 1,600 residents visited Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) seeking information from various assistance agencies. All DRCs are now closed, but currently, four SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs) remain operating at the former DRC locations accepting applications, answering questions and doing loan closings.
DLOCs are open Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sat. 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the following locations:
- Crawford County DLOC, North Crawford High School, 47050 County Road X, Soldiers Grove, WI. Closing 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.
- Dane County DLOC, Robertson Road Facility, 4318 Robertson Rd. Madison, WI. Closing 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.
- La Crosse County DLOC, Town of Shelby Town Hall, 2801 Ward Ave., La Crosse, WI. Open until further notice.
- Vernon County DLOC, Living Faith Church, 852 N. Main St. Viroqua, WI. Open until further notice.
A large number of voluntary agencies have been working to help residents clean-up, serving meals in the affected regions and providing other assistance. To request help from voluntary agencies or to volunteer to help, call 211 from a land line, or 1-877-947-2211 from a cell phone.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.