TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Since May 27 when Volusia County was designated a disaster area eligible for federal aid, 4,405 of the county's storm survivors have registered for federal disaster assistance and more than $8.4 million has been approved to help them recover.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved more than $6.2 million in grants through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and $165,000 has been awarded to the state to conduct disaster crisis counseling for residents of Volusia County. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $2 million in low-interest disaster loans.
Disaster Assistance from FEMA
Breakdown of disaster assistance approved for homeowners and renters through July 15, 2009:
- $4,868,094 has been disbursed for housing expenses, including temporary rental assistance, home repair costs and assistance toward replacing destroyed homes (part of IHP).
- $1,347,849 has been approved for Other Needs Assistance (part of IHP) to cover expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster (e.g., medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage and other related expenses).
- $165,000 has been granted to the Florida Department of Children and Families to provide disaster crisis counseling, through its program Project Hope, until at least July 26, 2009. At that time, if there is still a need and the state requests it, additional funds may be approved to continue the crisis counseling program.
- 3,700 home inspections to confirm disaster damage have been completed.
- Teams of state and FEMA Community Relations field specialists distributed thousands of flyers to help identify and assist disaster survivors. In the course of explaining the recovery process, they visited 11,014 residences, and 1,153 businesses and numerous community-based organizations, schools and houses of worship.
- 3,969 visits were made to the two state/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).
Storm survivors are encouraged to register for assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling FEMA's toll-free Registration and Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 for people with a speech or hearing impairment. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is July 27, 2009.
Disaster Assistance from the SBA
As of July 15, 2009, the SBA had approved $2,049,900 in low-interest disaster loans for Volusia County residents and businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers disaster loans with interest rates as low as 2.437 percent for homeowners and renters, and 4.000 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Homeowners may be eligible for up to $200,000 in disaster loans to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real property. Homeowners and renters are eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace real estate, inventory or other business assets.
For more information about disaster loans from SBA, contact the Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339. Representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure Web site at