PIERRE, S.D. -- Residents and businesses in Yankton County who had damage from flooding March 11 through July 22, 2011 are now eligible for disaster assistance, Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
"We are pleased that residents of Yankton County who have suffered losses in this long flood will be eligible for FEMA's Individual Assistance program," Governor Daugaard said. "Every citizen who is helped is a step toward recovery for all of us."
No decision has yet been made on six other counties that are currently being considered for aid to individuals and families.
FEMA's Individual Assistance program includes a wide range of aid, such as grants for home repair, temporary housing, serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
"We asked FEMA to take another look at the damage in Yankton County, and when they did, they realized that these citizens needed individual assistance, too," said Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels, a Yankton native. "Five of the 11 counties have now qualified for this additional program of help as they try to rebuild homes and businesses. We will continue to be advocates for all South Dakotans who have suffered from flooding this spring and summer."
Officials remind affected residents they must register with FEMA by phone or online to be eligible for all forms of federal assistance. Filing damage reports with state or county emergency managers or voluntary agencies will not start the federal disaster assistance process.
Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the disaster can register for assistance by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585, or by going online at www.disasterassistance.gov. The toll-free line will be in operation from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week until further notice.
Persons affected by the floods can also apply for federal assistance through a web-enabled mobile device or Smartphone by going to m.fema.gov and following the link to apply online for federal assistance and other recovery help.
"We want everyone who suffered loss of income or physical damage from the floods to register directly with us and get a registration number," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Neveau. "If you don't have a registration number from FEMA, we don't know you had damage. FEMA grants will not make you financially whole from your losses, but we can help."
Officials advise applicants to have the following information available when applying for assistance:
- Current telephone number
- Address at the time of the disaster and current address
- Social Security number
- A general list of damages and losses
- If insured, the name of the company, agent, and policy number
- Bank account and routing number for direct deposit of funds if you become eligible
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and does not normally compensate eligible applicants for the entire loss. FEMA disaster aid is generally offered as grants that do not have to be paid back.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed private property. The SBA also offers low-interest working capital loans, called Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), to small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.
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 c...