LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As the layers of shock and trauma settle in and Kentucky spirits rise following the early May storms, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teams are working in affected communities throughout the Commonwealth.
These FEMA Community Relations teams are canvassing the areas hit by the May 1 series of storms, floods, mudslides, and tornadoes that ripped through the central area of Kentucky. Team members are informing area residents about available federal disaster assistance programs and how to apply.
In some affected areas, teams go door-to-door and/or hold community meetings. The team goals are to gather information from survivors and encourage registration. Face-to-face meetings often are the best way to communicate with survivors, representatives of community-based agencies, local leaders and public officials.
Community Relations teams proactively provide information about disaster recovery programs. The programs help with temporary housing or essential repairs to restore residences that are not safe, sanitary and/or functional. Low-interest loans can be applied for through the Small Business Administration to help repair or replace damaged property for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. Information is available about replacement grants for essential disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
FEMA Community Relations staff members offer a “People Helping People Recover From Disasters” program to train volunteers and community-based organizations to assist local citizens with the paperwork required to register for disaster aid. These organizations can contact the FEMA Community Relations at 859-425-3535 to get additional information or to schedule a training program in their community.
Disaster survivors are urged to register their damage, large or small, for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech disabilities. The telephone lines are staffed daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT until further notice. Help is available in all languages.
If you or someone you know suffered loss, or damage, from this latest disaster you are encouraged to document the damage, save any repair receipts and notify your local emergency director.
Additional counties, and their residents, may be designated for federal disaster assistance at a later date if requested by the Commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments
Affected citizens are encouraged to register online at www.disasterassistance.gov. Additional information about this Kentucky disaster is available at www.fema.gov and www.kyem.ky.gov/currentdisasters
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.