WESTFIELD, Mass. -- More than $1.3 million in federal assistance has been approved to help individuals with disaster expenses just two weeks after President Obama declared a federal disaster for Tropical Storm Irene that struck Massachusetts August 27-29.
To date, 708 people from Berkshire and Franklin counties have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and FEMA-contracted inspectors have completed 435 inspections.
The federal assistance includes $1,295,340 in housing aid to help homeowners and renters:
- Rent temporary housing for a limited period of time;
- Repair damage from the disaster to a homeowner's primary residence that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the home safe, sanitary and functional; and,
- Help replace homes destroyed in the disaster.
Federal Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grants are limited to addressing costs not covered by insurance or other sources.
ONA grants to date, totaling $93,885, will help pay for:
- Disaster-related medical and dental costs;
- Disaster-related funeral and burial costs;
- Clothing, household items, tools required for work and necessary educational materials;
- Clean-up items;
- Disaster-damaged primary vehicles;
- Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster; and,
- Other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.
Individuals can register with FEMA online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov anytime or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals with a speech or hearing disability may call (TTY) 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are staffed seven days a week, from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. local time until further notice. Help in most languages is available.
Registration for federal assistance can also be made directly through Web-enabled mobile devices or smartphones at m.fema.gov.
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.