BURLINGTON, Vt. – With one month gone since Vermont suffered a major disaster in Tropical Storm Irene and another month left to register for aid, FEMA has approved more than $16 million in assistance to individuals and families.
“As we continue our work with the state and other partners to help Vermonters recover, FEMA urges anyone who has not registered for assistance to do so before the Halloween deadline,” said Federal Coordinating Officer James N. Russo. “We are here for the long haul, but the sooner you are in the system, the easier it will be to ensure that you get all help you are eligible for.”
FEMA’s registration number is: 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Online registration is available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or at FEMA’s mobile website, m.fema.gov for Smartphone or tablet users.
Online registration helps to reduce the time it takes to apply for aid and allows you to check the progress of your application online. The registration deadline for Individual Assistance grants is Oct. 31. Cities and towns must submit their requests for Public Assistance, which provides reimbursement to repair public infrastructure such as roads and bridges, by October 17.
The approved aid so far includes more than $15.1 million in housing grants to help repair, rebuild or replace housing and for rental assistance, as well as more than $900,000 for assistance with other needs, such as replacement of personal property or medical expenses.
- 5,882 registrations have been received.
- 2,659 Vermonters have been approved for housing assistance, and 123 have received the maximum Individuals and Households Program award of $30,200. The average housing award is just under $6,000.
- 1,187 Vermonters have been approved for temporary rental assistance.
- There are 8 inspectors in the field and 3,921 property inspections to document damage have been completed. The turnaround time for applicants to receive inspections is just under three days.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued 5,258 loan applications to homeowners and businesses in Vermont. To date a total of 500 have been returned, and 102 applications totaling almost $5 million have been approved.
Following is a summary of some disaster assistance available:
- Legal Services. Those facing legal issues due to Tropical Storm Irene may call 800-889-2047 for free legal advice. Those who qualify for assistance will be matched with Vermont lawyers volunteering their time. Legal assistance may include help with insurance claims, home repair contracts and contractors, building permits, replacement of wills and other legal documents destroyed in the disaster and counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems and landlord/tenant problems.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to those whose jobs were permanently or temporarily lost due to the disaster, including those who are self-employed. Anyone who lost work and lived, worked, or was scheduled to w...