First Steps To Disaster Recovery

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Release date: 
July 28, 2010
Release Number: 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- When President Obama declared a disaster after the mid-July severe storms, flooding and mudslides, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) began working together to help people in the Commonwealth recover.

Pike County residents, who had help from volunteer organizations and local emergency management, now can apply for federal assistance.

“Our first priority is making sure people have a safe place to stay and apply to FEMA for disaster assistance,” KYEM Director John Heltzel said. 

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program can provide grants for rental assistance and/or emergency home repair to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.

FEMA’s toll-free registration number is 800-621-FEMA (3362).  Applicants with speech or hearing disabilities can call TTY at 800-462-7585. People can register online at Registration normally takes less than half an hour.

Be sure to have information ready. If you have insurance, contact your insurance agent so you know what coverage your policy provides.

After registering with FEMA many applicants will receive a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in the mail. Be sure to complete the loan application and return it to the SBA.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a disaster loan program to help homeowners and renters as well as businesses and nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

“Homeowners and renters who are not approved for a loan, may be referred to the Other Needs Assistance grant program funded by the Commonwealth and FEMA,” Federal Coordinating Officer Doug Mayne said.  “These grants for individuals may help with disaster-related expenses.”

FEMA assistance, in the form of a grant, does not have to be repaid. SBA federal disaster loans used to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property are offered at low-interest rates to those who qualify.

Some people who are not eligible for federal disaster assistance programs may still get help from voluntary agencies and nonprofit organizations.

“If you have unmet needs from these storms, please contact your local emergency management director,” Heltzel said.  A complete list of county emergency management directors and more information on this, and other disasters, can be found at .

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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