WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Volunteers, faith-based organizations, local, state, and federal officials continue to meet the ongoing needs of the survivors of this summer's severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding.
Sixteen long-term recovery committees are active across the state, and more are being organized, according to the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council (IDHRC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
These local groups may help meet survivors' unmet needs beyond the legal capacity of federal resources after all other available assistance has been exhausted.
"The amount and type of government assistance from FEMA and others is limited by law," said FEMA's John Long, federal coordinating officer. "The job of helping households to fully recover cannot be accomplished without long-term community support."
The IDHRC is comprised of approximately 75 faith-based, voluntary and other community groups. Their coordinated efforts raise funds to provide comfort, guidance, volunteer efforts, and financial assistance.
"Fully recovering from a disaster is a long-term process," said Marvin Shultz, grant coordinating officer with the Iowa Department of Human Services. "It's very gratifying that so many Iowans have stepped forward to help their neighbors long after the floodwaters have receded."
Individuals who have exhausted all resources and have remaining needs related to the 2010 summer disaster recovery are urged to call their county emergency manager; the Iowa Concerns Hotline at 800-447-1085; the United Way's 2-1-1 referral service; or the IDHRC at 515-323-4210.
The deadline to register for federal disaster assistance was Nov. 12. To date, more than 13,000 individuals have registered for federal assistance in the declared counties and more than $25 million has been approved through FEMA's individual and households program. There have been 5,597 visitors to the 19 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) that were open throughout Iowa. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved nearly $14 million in low-interest disaster loans to help Iowa residents and business owners in their recovery.
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.