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Use Care When Spending Disaster Funds

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Release date: 
June 7, 2010
Release Number: 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Many Kentucky neighborhoods are buzzing with the heartening sounds of repair and rebuilding. People are using more than $12.7 million in disaster assistance funds distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recover from the devastating May storms. These funds are intended to help disaster survivors get safe, sanitary and functional housing and to meet other critical needs.

“We know Kentuckians are eager to begin the rebuilding process,” said John Heltzel, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM). “These funds will help meet essential needs and hopefully start people on the road to recovery.”

Commonwealth and federal officials advise recipients to spend disaster assistance funds only for damages or losses caused by the recent flooding, and to keep receipts and other documentation for at least three years as proof the funds were spent as intended.

“Our first goal is to get money into the hands of Kentuckians as soon as possible so they can begin putting their lives back together,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Doug Mayne. “We also want to make sure taxpayers' money is spent correctly.”

Housing assistance grants are to be used for short-term rental assistance, reimbursement of hotel/motel expenses, and/or home repair for such items as:

  • Structural parts of the home such as the foundation, outside walls, and roof.
  • Windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings and cabinetry.
  • Septic, wells or other water systems.
  • Heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.
  • Utilities (electric, plumbing, & gas).
  • Entrance and exit ways from the home including privately owned access roads.
  • Blocking, leveling and anchoring mobile homes and reconnecting or resetting sewer, water and fuel lines.


Grants for other needs may be used for:


  • Medical, dental and funeral expenses.
  • Personal property, specialized tools for employment, household items, appliances, vehicle repair or other serious disaster-related needs.
  • Other approved expenses.


For questions about how disaster assistance funds may be used, or to register for assistance, call 800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are staffed seven days a week, 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Help is available in many languages. To register for assistance online go to The registration deadline is July 12, 2010, 8 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. CDT.

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.

Applicants who receive SBA loan applications must complete and return them to be considered for FEMA grants that cover personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. No one is obligated to take a loan.

Additional information about this disaster is available at and

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.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, 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 ...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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