LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Those suffering any loss or damage after an act of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergency know that it is a devastating blow not only to the individual home or business owner but also to the entire community. That's why officials with the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Kentucky's Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) want anyone in Kentucky who was affected by tornadoes and other severe weather of Feb. 5-6 to be aware of the kind of assistance that is available.
Commonwealth Coordinating Officer Charlie Winter said, "Ensuring everyone who is eligible for assistance is aware of the programs is important. Getting the message out to everyone in Kentucky is a very important goal. The commonwealth along with FEMA is doing everything it can to make sure that everyone who needs assistance knows how to get it."
FEMA disaster assistance is not intended to restore you to your pre-disaster condition. It is to help you get safe and sanitary housing and meet your other critical needs so you can begin your long-term recovery. These are some examples of the types of assistance available:
- Temporary Housing: Money is available to rent a different place to live, or a government provided housing unit when rental properties are not available.
- Repair: Money is available to homeowners to repair damage from the disaster to their primary residence that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary and functional.
- Replacement: Money is available to homeowners to replace their home destroyed in the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to help the homeowner with the cost of replacing the destroyed home.
- Permanent Housing Construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of help occurs only in insular areas or remote locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible.
- Other Needs: Money is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage, and other expenses that are authorized by law.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Can make federally subsidized, long-term low interest loans to homeowners and renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. Those loans are used to repair or replace personal residences, personal property or businesses that sustained damages not covered by insurance.
Michael Bolch, federal coordinating officer, wants everyone to know about the array of assistance FEMA provides. Bolch said, "Disaster assistance covers a wide range of losses like disaster-related damage or loss of essential personal property, anything from a wheelchair to a major appliance, may qualify for some form of federal/state assistance. He went on to stress that, "Rebuilding communities starts with each individual homeowner's and business' ability to recovery. Registering for assistance is the first step."
To find out if you are eligible for assistance, you should register by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. You can also register online at www.fema.gov.
If you want to speak with someone in person, you can visit a Disaster Recovery Center. These centers are located throughout Kentucky. Federal and state officials are available to meet with anyone residing in one of the designated counties: Allen, Bath, Christian, Fayette, Hardin, Hart, Harrison, Hopkins, Meade, Mercer, Monroe, Muhlenberg, Nicholas, Shelby and Spencer.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and ...