LA CROSSE, Wis. -- With the deadline to register for assistance just a week away, Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that more than $12 million has gone to residents of the 14 Wisconsin counties affected by the Aug. 18-31 storms and flooding.
The deadline to register for FEMA individual assistance is Thursday, October 25. That is the same deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses to submit applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Individual assistance in the form of crisis counseling is also now available to those impacted by the storms and flooding in all 14 counties with disaster declarations including: Crawford, Columbia, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk and Vernon counties.
A total of 4,600 Wisconsin households in designated counties have registered for assistance. More than $6.4 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 3,900 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 $380,000 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. 17, the SBA has approved 196 loans for a combined total of $5,253,500 to homeowners, renters and businesses 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.
The SBA has issued almost 4,200 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. Only about 14% of the applications have been returned. Deadline for SBA physical loan applications is October 25.
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. As of Oct. 17, more than $365,000 in Public Assistance has been obligated by FEMA.
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:
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.
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 open 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. Closing 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.
- Vernon County DLOC, Living Faith Church, 852 N. Main St. Viroqua, WI. Closing 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2.
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.