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60-Day Snapshot: Federal Assistance Exceeds $12 Million as Georgia Survivors Move Forward in Hurricane Idalia Recovery

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Release Date:
novembre 7, 2023

ATLANTA – Evidence of cleanup and recovery is beginning to show in portions of southern Georgia hit by Hurricane Idalia on Aug. 30.  Since President Biden signed the official disaster declaration on Sept. 7, officials and responders in Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Glynn and Lowndes counties have been working tirelessly to restore the land, buildings and people to their pre-hurricane conditions. 

Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as the state and local governments, numerous volunteers and private aid organizations, are working hard to fund recovery and renew a sense of optimism among survivors. Here is a snapshot of recovery over the last two months since Hurricane Idalia came ashore.

By the Numbers

As of Nov. 6 — 60 days after President Biden declared Hurricane Idalia a major disaster in Georgia — nearly $12.18 million in federal disaster assistance has been approved for survivors.

FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP)

Five Georgia counties are designated for Individual Assistance (IA): Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Glynn and Lowndes.

More than $3.83 million approved for individuals and households, including:                                                                                                                                           

  • More than $3.31 million for Housing Assistance (HA), which consists of:
    • More than $1.87 million in repair assistance, including six maximum awards totaling $246,000.
    • $164,000 in replacement assistance.
    • Nearly $1.26 million in rental assistance.
    • More than $15,500 in survivor transient expenses.
  • More than $519,000 for Other Needs Assistance (ONA), which helps to replace essential household items and help pay for other critical disaster-related needs, such as moving and storage, childcare, medical and dental care.

Four Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) provided face-to-face assistance to people affected by Hurricane Idalia. The state of Georgia and FEMA have operated DRCs in Brooks, Cook, Glynn and Lowndes counties. The DRCs have been visited by nearly 2,700 survivors.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA)

Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) crews were on the ground in Georgia within hours of Idalia’s landfall. Their task: to walk through affected neighborhoods, go door-to-door or set up meetings with small groups of survivors in nearby facilities.

  • DSA personnel visited nearly 8,000 impacted homes, interacted with more than 2,100 individual survivors and helped nearly 300 families submit applications to FEMA for federal disaster assistance.

IA Callout and Review System (CARS)

  • A small team of Individual Assistance personnel has been working hard to make sure FEMA reaches all hurricane survivors who were impacted by Hurricane Idalia. 
  • Using FEMA’s Callout and Review System (CARS), a computer scan that identifies applications of at-risk survivors, the team has already contacted by phone nearly 2,200 applicants.
  • To date, more than 200 of these applicants, including older adults and those with access and functional needs (AFN), have received grants totaling nearly $859,000 as a result of this follow-up.

FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program

Public Assistance is FEMA’s largest assistance program, accounting for about half of all disaster grant dollars. It is a cost-sharing program, available to state, tribal, county and local governments, as well as private nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, on a cost-sharing basis. FEMA pays no less than 75% of project costs. 

  • Thirty-two Georgia counties have been declared eligible for all categories of PA benefits: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Echols, Emanuel, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Lanier, Lowndes, Montgomery, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, and Wayne. 
  • To date, PA has received more than 85 Requests for Public Assistance, 36 projects have been approved, and FEMA funding obligations are pending.

Hazard Mitigation

In more than a half dozen community outreach programs, hazard mitigation experts have offered free tips and repair advice to nearly 700 survivors at local hardware stores and home centers.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Claims

To date, NFIP has paid out $209,000 for seven of the flood insurance claims submitted for damage caused in Georgia by Hurricane Idalia. 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

An integral part of disaster assistance, FEMA’s federal partner, SBA, offers long-term, low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and other sources.

  • SBA has approved 197 disaster home loans, 15 business disaster loans, and five Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for business working capital, totaling nearly $8.35 million. 

FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs)

The mission of FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons is to establish, foster, and maintain relationships among government, voluntary, faith-based, and community partners. Through these relationships, the VALs support the delivery of inclusive and equitable services and empower and strengthen capabilities of communities to address disaster-caused unmet needs.

  • According to members of Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (GAVOAD), Faith-Based Partners, the Samaritans Purse and the Southwest Georgia (SWGA) Community, during the last 60 days, working with FEMA VALs, they have assisted more than 3,100 individuals in more than 900 households, providing Hurricane Idalia survivors with more than 34,000 hot and cold meals, more than 21,000 drinks and snacks, and more than 2,000 food boxes. 
  • In addition, they have participated in nearly 650 tree removal and tarp installation projects.
  • To date, GAVOAD members have provided nearly 10,000 volunteer hours in service to Georgia’s recovery.

For the latest information on Georgia’s recovery from Hurricane Idalia, visit fema.gov/disaster/4738follow FEMA on X, formerly known as Twitter, at twitter.com/femaregion4 and at facebook.com/fema.

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