BEAVER, W. Va. -- More than $5 million has been approved in federal disaster grants and loans to West Virginia homeowners, renters and business owners since President Obama declared a major disaster because of damage from the March severe storms and flooding.
Officials from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been working in close partnership to help affected residents and local governments recover from the damage.
There is one week left for individuals to register with FEMA for disaster assistance or to apply for a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Disaster financial assistance approved for West Virginians to date:
- $3.6 million in Housing Assistance from FEMA's Individuals and Households Program for temporary housing and home repairs.
- $272,948 in Other Needs Assistance, a joint state-federal program that helps applicants replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
- $1,111,100 in SBA low-interest disaster loans. These loans are available to homeowners and renters and businesses of all sizes.
Other numbers to note:
- 1,798 people have registered with FEMA for state and federal disaster assistance.
- 1,582 homes have been inspected by FEMA.
- 820 people visited Disaster Recovery Centers that were open in the five counties designated for Individual Assistance.
- 560 individuals and 25 contractors talked with FEMA Mitigation specialists at Lowe's home improvement stores in Beckley, Lewisburg and Princeton and received information about repairing damaged homes and rebuilding safer and stronger. Information also was available about flood insurance.
"If you suffered losses because of the storm and haven't applied for disaster assistance, do it now," State Coordinating Officer Jimmy Gianato said.
To register, go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Applicants with hearing or speech disabilities can call TTY 800-462-7585.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for disaster-related medical and dental expenses and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must complete and submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
President Obama's March 29 disaster declaration also made funding available under FEMA's Public Assistance program to reimburse state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations in Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Raleigh and Summers County for emergency measures and repairs to storm-damaged infrastructure. FEMA pays 75 percent of eligible project costs, with the remaining 25 percent from state and local sources.
To date, 26 applicants have worked with the state and FEMA on 240 Project Worksheets, the documents that describe damage and costs for repair or replacement.
State and FEMA mitigation specialists have been working with communities on floodplain management, with insurance agents on information about the National Flood Insurance Program and manufactured housing installers.
In the first weeks after the disaster, the community education and outreach staff met with shoppers and contractors at Lowe's stores in Beckley, Lewisburg and Princeton.
Three Hazard Mitigation Grant Program public meetings have taken place within the disaster area.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens ...