LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- An average of half a million dollars a day in state and federal assistance has flowed to Arkansans and their communities since the May 2 disaster declaration for the April 14-June 3 storms, tornadoes and flooding, according to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Nearly two months after the presidential declaration, a total of $28,162,747 in assistance has been approved or obligated. The total includes Individual Assistance grants for Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance (ONA) from the state and FEMA, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and reimbursements from FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program.
ADEM and FEMA, partners in the state's recovery efforts, provide the following summary of disaster assistance as of Monday:
|$3,007,878||Other Needs Assistance|
|$7,837,500||SBA low-interest disaster loans|
Housing Assistance is provided to eligible Arkansans whose property has been damaged or destroyed as a result of the disaster. The grants are intended for emergency repairs to make homes safe and sanitary; they are not meant to restore damaged property to its pre-disaster condition. Housing Assistance can also include grants for temporary rental costs required because of serious home damage.
ONA grants help eligible survivors replace personal property damaged or destroyed in the disaster. These grants also can help pay medical, dental, funeral and burial expenses incurred as a result of the disaster.
SBA's disaster loans are available to qualifying homeowners, business owners and some nonprofit agencies. PA funds go to applicants - the state and its agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations - to clean up debris and/or help cover the cost of taking measures before, during and immediately after the disaster to protect lives and property. PA reimbursements also help repair infrastructure damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster.
Additionally, the state and FEMA have launched a Temporary Housing Unit program for survivors who live in areas where available rental housing is extremely limited. Most of the manufactured housing units will go to residents of hard-hit rural Arkansas counties, enabling survivors to stay close to home as they rebuild.
As of Monday, 9,648 individuals and families had registered with FEMA in the 37 counties designated for Individual Assistance. The deadline to register is Aug. 1.
Arkansans can register for assistance or check the status of their application online at www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. FEMA phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to midnight local time seven days a week, and multilingual operators are available.