JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Joint teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Small Business Administration (SBA) will go to select Missouri counties, collecting data on the extent of damage to homes and businesses affected by the January ice storm.
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 (SBA) 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.
Missourians who need immediate help are urged to call United Way's 211.This is a statewide referral service for citizens who need help, and for volunteers who want to donate their time or equipment to local governments as a way of assisting in the recovery effort.? The service can be reached at 2-1-1 by land line, and at 1-800-427-4626 from a cell phone.
If approved, the federal IHP program would add a new level of assistance for the state. There is no timetable for the approval process. If approved, FEMA Community Relations teams will make personal visits to homes and businesses with information on how to register for help.
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, emergency generators to areas suffering power loss, and blankets and cots for emergency shelters.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and man-made disasters.