JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- As those affected by the severe storms, flooding and tornado during the period of Sept. 11-24 begin to receive disaster assistance checks, federal and state officials want to remind them to use the money carefully. Thus far, more than $3.7 million in federal grants has been approved for housing and other disaster-related needs.
"It is our responsibility to help those affected by the devastating flooding, and at the same time, make sure that the taxpayers' money is spent correctly," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Hall.
Housing Assistance funds may be used for:
- Repairs to return an owner-occupied home to a safe, sanitary, and functional condition - These may include repairs to windows, doors, water and ventilation systems, or other structural parts of a home;
- Rebuilding a home that has been completely destroyed; or
- Short-term housing - Applicants who must remain in temporary housing for a longer period than the check covers may request more assistance until their home can be re-occupied or other permanent housing arrangements can be made.
Other Needs Assistance funds may be used for:
- Medical, dental and funeral expenses;
- Personal property, specialized tools for employment, household items, appliances, vehicle repair, or other serious needs; or
- Other approved expenses.
It is also important, as Missourians continue to repair and replace damaged property, to keep all receipts for documentation. If the homeowner makes repairs before an inspector comes to the property, receipts will show exactly what those expenses covered.
Those who have not registered for assistance may call the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) toll-free registration number: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance. People with hearing- or speech-impairments may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The lines operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Missourians can also register online anytime at www.fema.gov. The deadline to apply for assistance is Jan. 12, 2009.
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.