JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- State and federal teams will go throughout impacted communities next week, collecting data on the extent of damage to homes and businesses in flooded Missouri communities, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
These damage assessments are the first step in a process of determining if the damage is sufficient to qualify affected counties for FEMA's Individuals and Households Program (IHP). IHP approval would allow disaster-impacted households to register for FEMA aid for home repairs, rental assistance and other recovery measures and authorize the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes.
Preliminary damage assessments do not necessarily result in IHP approval if the state and local communities have the resources to handle the disaster. Factors such as the number of homes destroyed or damaged, insurance protection, and the ability of community organizations to respond are taken into account in the assessment.
Individuals affected by the flooding may seek immediate help from community and faith-based organizations as well as local emergency management agencies.
Agencies such as the American Red Cross provide advice and counsel and have disaster recovery information available at all times.
To date, Direct Federal Assistance has been made available to support life-saving and life-sustaining operations such as bottled water to communities with impacted water supplies and sandbagging to hold back floodwaters. These duties are performed through mission assignments FEMA conducts with other federal agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard.
IHP approval for individuals and households would add a new level of help for the state. If IHP is approved, FEMA Community Relations teams will make personal visits to homes and businesses with information on how to register for help. Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers would also be deployed to provide one-on-one help to disaster-impacted homes.
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.