LINCOLN, Neb. -- Close to a half million dollars in disaster assistance has been approved to help Nebraskans who suffered losses because of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, that began on May 22, 2008. The announcement was made today by officials of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
?These funds will help people get back to where they were before the disaster struck,? said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn. ?That?s FEMA?s goal; to help residents resume their normal lives.?
The counties included under the federal disaster declaration of May 20, 2008 include Buffalo, Butler, Colfax, Dawson, Douglas, Gage, Hamilton, Jefferson, Kearney, Platte, Richardson, Sarpy and Saunders. Those who received damage to their homes or businesses or suffered job losses can register for help by calling FEMA?s toll-free Helpline, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for those who are speech- or hearing- impaired. Applications are also taken online at www.fema.gov/assistance.
?Even if a property owner has insurance coverage, he or she should talk with a recovery specialist,? said State Coordinating Officer Cindy Newsham. ?Uninsured losses may be covered by FEMA, the state or the
U.S. Small Business Administration.? ?
Here is a snapshot of disaster recovery assistance for Nebraskans as of close of business Sunday, June 29:
- More than 700 individuals called FEMA?s toll-free registration numbers or registered online.
- $425,182. in FEMA awards is approved for disaster-affected homeowners and renters who need a place to stay or who need to make repairs to their homes so they are safe, sanitary and functional.
- Another $42,375. is approved for residents to help cover eligible disaster needs, such as replacing some personal property, for medical, dental and funeral expenses, vehicle or transportation costs and certain other expenses.
- More than 350 inspections are completed on 487 homes reported.
- Disaster Recovery Centers have assisted 386 visitors.
Currently Disaster Recovery Centers are open in Beatrice, Ceresco, Kearney, Lexington, Omaha and Schuyler. Those affected by the disaster are encouraged to visit any center to talk face-to-face with a recovery specialist and to check the status of their applications. Center addresses are available by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 or by checking online at www.fema.gov. Center hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday; closed Sundays.
Recovery centers will be closed Friday for the July 4th holiday and will re-open on Saturday, July 5th. The center in Beatrice will close permanently on Tuesday, July 1.
The state and FEMA urge anyone from a designated county who suffered damage to their home, business or had job losses because of the disaster to register for assistance. The phones are open 24 hours a day. Registering with the Red Cross or other agencies is not the same as contacting FEMA. It is always necessary to apply directly to FEMA