PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Massachusetts’ spring flood recovery totals reached new records this week as federal disaster aid neared the $88 million mark, state and federal disaster officials announced today.
The figure includes approved Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) individual and household assistance grants, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans as well as Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
Recovery officials said a steady flow of new applicants were calling to register for assistance as disaster operations approached the three-month marker. In the past week alone, 425 new registrations were recorded by FEMA. The officials noted the relatively high 78 percent eligibility rate for all aid requests has held throughout the extended registration period.
Past week statistics also show a solid increase in total federal funding approved for disaster survivors, with an additional $2.6 million in recovery funds approved in the form of housing and other needs grants or SBA low-interest loans.
The following data, compiled by close of business June 23, 2010, is a snapshot of total Commonwealth-FEMA disaster recovery activities to date:
- $53,589,036 in approved Housing Assistance grants to help with recovery housing expenses, home repair costs and assistance toward repairing storm-damaged homes;
- $1,849,912 in Other Needs Assistance to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical expenses and lost personal possessions;
- $32,164,800 in SBA approved low-interest loans to eligible homeowners, renters or business owners;
- 36,434 residents have registered with FEMA for some form of disaster assistance;
- 34,797 homes had FEMA inspectors view damages (more than 99 percent of the inspections requested have been completed); and
- 228 cities, townships and private nonprofits have applied for federal assistance to be reimbursed 75 percent of disaster-related costs such as infrastructure repair or replacement, debris removal or emergency protection measures.
Additionally, FEMA continues to work with volunteer agencies on the development of long-term recovery groups comprised of volunteer organizations to assist disaster survivors with unmet needs in hard-hit disaster communities.
The FEMA registration deadline was recently extended to July 12, 2010 for residents in Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties.
Recovery officials urge residents in designated counties with uninsured disaster-related damage or losses to register for possible FEMA assistance as soon as possible. The application process takes 15-20 minutes after calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY) for people with speech or hearing disabilities. Operating hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, until further notice, and multilingual assistance is available. Online application takes place 24/7 on FEMA’s web site, www.disasterassistance.gov.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and 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.