FRANKFORT, Ky. -- One week after a presidential disaster declaration was issued for June storms, tornadoes and flooding in Perry, Bell and Knox counties, FEMA has approved Individual Assistance applications totaling more than $500,000.
Hundreds of disaster survivors in three Kentucky counties took advantage of the holiday weekend to register for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The numbers, compiled Sept. 8, provide a snapshot of the Kentucky disaster to date:
- 444 individuals and families have registered with FEMA for assistance.
- Individual Assistance includes two categories -- housing and other needs.
- More than $436,000 in housing funds has been approved. This money can be used for temporary housing as well as repair and replacement of permanent housing.
- Nearly $80,000 in other needs funding was approved. This includes money for necessities such as clothing and household items, disaster-related medical and dental costs, car repairs that are related to the disaster as well as for moving and storage expenses.
- FEMA inspectors have made 158 home inspections.
- 225 visits have been made to the disaster recovery centers.
"It is reassuring to know that so many individuals and families are receiving the assistance they obviously needed," said John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management and commonwealth coordinating officer for Kentucky. "We will continue to work with FEMA, voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations to make sure the needs of affected individuals and families are met."
FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer W. M. Moore encourages people affected by the disaster to register with FEMA even if they have insurance. "While FEMA cannot duplicate insurance settlements, we may be able to close the gap in what your insurance policy didn't cover," he said. "But you must register before we can help you."
Disaster recovery centers opened Saturday, Sept. 3 in Hazard (Perry County) and in Middlesboro (Bell County) staffed by FEMA and U. S. Small Business Administration representatives. Those who have applied for assistance can meet face-to-face with staff and get questions answered at the following locations:
- Senior Citizens Center, 354 Perry Park Road, Hazard, KY 41701, and
- Bell County Home Health Care Center, 1321 North 25th Street, Middlesboro, KY 40965.
Beginning over the long weekend, FEMA community relations teams have fanned out across the three counties talking with people about assistance for which they may be eligible. Assistance includes FEMA grants, which do not have to be repaid, and low-interest disaster loans from the SBA.
Inspectors are surveying property damage of home owners and renters who registered with FEMA in the affected counties.
People with storm losses should register with FEMA, if possible, before going to a disaster recovery center. Register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual, and lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.