RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The recovery effort on the Pine Ridge Reservation continues as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of South Dakota have together activated the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) Program. The program will provide grants to cover eligible losses resulting from the early June tornadoes, severe storms and flooding.
The IFG program is designed to meet the necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster that cannot be met by other sources. The program cannot duplicate benefits already provided by another agency.
How much money you receive depends upon your disaster-related needs. The IFG grants are designed as a resource for those who still have remaining needs, but cannot qualify for a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The grants do not have to be repaid.
"The program is not like insurance," FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Pete Bakersky said. "We can't replace everything, but we can get them back into a safe living environment and replace essential personal belongings."
Bakersky emphasized that in order for disaster-related expenses to be covered by IFG grants they must be both essential and necessary.
The grants may provide for disaster-related needs such as home repairs, personal property or automobiles lost during the disaster. They may also provide for items that SBA loans do not cover, such as disaster-related medical, dental and funeral costs. FEMA officials urge anyone with questions about the IFG program to call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321. For the hearing-or speech-impaired the number is (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.