LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In the last two weeks, nearly $700,000 in disaster assistance grants and loans has been approved to help persons in Kentucky recover from losses caused by tornadoes and severe storms Feb. 5-6. Almost $600,000 has already been disbursed.
The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM), the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that, as of close of business Thursday, $699,007 in assistance has been approved.
"Since Kentucky received a disaster declaration on Feb. 21, FEMA has moved quickly to help people affected by these storms rebuild and recover," said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch. "We are processing applications, inspecting damaged property and making decisions promptly. We encourage anyone in the 15 designated counties, whether insured or not, who had disaster-related damages or losses, to register with FEMA."
Nine counties were originally designated as eligible for assistance to individuals who suffered uninsured losses. On Wednesday, six more counties were designated. The 15 counties now eligible for individual assistance are Allen, Bath, Christian, Fayette, Hardin, Harrison, Hart, Hopkins, Meade, Mercer, Monroe, Muhlenberg, Nicholas, Shelby and Spencer.
"State and local governments, FEMA, and many faith-based groups and voluntary agencies are doing everything possible to help Kentuckians who suffered losses from these storms rebuild their lives," said KYEM Assistant Director Charlie Winter, who is state coordinating officer for this event.
Here is a summary of assistance to individuals, as of Thursday, March 6:
- $573,040 has been approved for housing expenses, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- $115,967 has been approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- $10,000 in loans to homeowners, renters and business owners has been approved by SBA.
- 677 applicants have registered with FEMA for some form of disaster assistance.
- 479 applications for loans to home or business owners have been received by SBA.
- 517 residents have visited Disaster Recovery Centers operated jointly by FEMA and the commonwealth of Kentucky.
- 286 home inspections have been completed.
- Community Relations specialists have distributed more than19,000 flyers and worked in the affected counties to help identify and assist disaster survivors. They have met with more than:
- 850 residents
- 400 businesses
- 70 faith-based groups
- 20 community organizations
- 25 social service organizations and local agencies
- 20 schools
Individuals can apply for FEMA assistance by calling the FEMA HELPLINE at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for the hearing- and speech-impaired or online at www.fema.gov. The telephone lines are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until further notice.
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.