NEW BERLIN, Wis. -- In response to a request from Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, President Obama has issued an Individual Assistance declaration for Grant and Milwaukee counties, enabling federal disaster aid for homes and businesses damaged in severe storms, tornadoes and flooding July 20-24.
Federal Coordinating Officer Paul Ricciuti of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said that the federal Individual Assistance declaration will supplement state and local recovery efforts. “FEMA and Wisconsin Emergency Management are forging a strong state-federal partnership to help Wisconsin residents recover from recent flooding,” he said.
Assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Residents and business owners in the two counties eligible for Individual Assistance may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call FEMA’s hotline at 1-800-621-FEMA/3362. (TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- and hearing-impaired) The hotline is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. local time, seven days per week.
“We are encouraging Grant and Milwaukee County homeowners, renters and businesses owners who suffered flood damage in these two counties to register for federal disaster aid as soon as possible,” Gov. Doyle said.
On Aug. 11, the State of Wisconsin received a federal Public Assistance declaration. That declaration provides federal aid to state and local agencies and certain non-profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged in the July 20-24 storms, tornadoes and floods. The Public Assistance declaration originally included Grant and Milwaukee counties. On September 7, Calumet County was added to that declaration.
FEMA initially turned down the state’s request for Individual Assistance because the reported damages were insufficient to qualify for federal aid, but Gov. Doyle appealed. State, local and FEMA officials teamed up to visit flooded neighborhoods to reassess damages and found additional damages to homes and businesses.
As a result of the federal disaster declarations, federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties within the state.
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.