OMAHA, Neb. --
Disaster Assistance Statistics:
As of Thursday, September 2, a total of 2,629 individuals and businesses have applied for assistance through FEMA's toll-free registration telephone line. FEMA has approved more than $1 million in disaster housing grants for 970 eligible Nebraskans affected by the disaster. This money will assist residents to pay for temporary housing as well as to make minimal repairs not covered by insurance to make their damaged homes habitable. The state-administered Individual and Family Grant program approved 32 applications totaling $30,265. These grants are for individuals and families who have serious needs and necessary expenses that cannot be met by other sources.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) so far has approved loans totaling $236,700. SBA is reminding residents that it is not only in the business of being the primary form of federal assistance for long-term recovery for businesses of all sizes, but provides many loans to individual homeowners and renters for real estate repairs and replacement of disaster-damaged personal property.
The Helpline telephone number 1-800-525-0321 (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 is FEMA's "answer line," where questions about the status of their applications may be answered and referrals made to appropriate agencies. Calls can be taken from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The toll-free registration number - 1-800-462-9029 - is used only for that purpose. The (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 number is used by those with hearing and speech impairments for registration and/or the Helpline. Same hours of operation as Helpline. Please note: The teleregistration line, Helpline and Disaster Recovery Center all will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6. They will reopen Tuesday at 8 a.m.
A Disaster Recovery Center was opened in Omaha was opened Monday, Aug. 30, in the Florence Community Center, 2920 Bondesson St., and will remain open until further notice. The center is staffed with representatives of federal, state and voluntary agencies who provide information and answer questions about the assistance available. The center will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., next Tuesday through Saturday. (Note: closed Monday, Labor Day)... The Omaha Office of Aging is providing free transportation for senior citizens to the Florence center. Volunteer drivers will pick up seniors, drive them to the center and return them home. Call 444-6558.
A pair of satellite Disaster Recovery Centers, designed to serve Nebraska residents affected by the flooding and storms, each will operate for two days next week in Washington and Burt counties to insure that all eligible residents are aware of the assistance programs available to them. The temporary facilities will open in Blair (Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 7, 8, at Dana College) and Tekamah (Thursday and Friday, Sept. 9, 10, City Auditorium).
Local residents are asked to be cautious in dealing with contractors who offer to clean up and repair damaged homes and businesses. State Coordinating Officer Fran Laden puts it this way: "If you have disaster-related damages, I urge you to be very careful when contracting for repairs. Be especially alert for out-of-town door-to-door solicitors who ask for large cash deposits or entire payments in advance." Report suspicious contractors to the Nebraska Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Office (1-800-727-6452).
Infrastructure - Nearly $330,000 has been provided thus far under FEMA's program of Infrastructure Assistance. The funds are being provided to reimburse municipalities 75 percent of the approved costs for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and permanent repair or replacement of damaged public property. Following more than 20 recent informational meetings conducted recently throughout the tri-county area, a total of 23 state and local entities have submitted Requests for Public Assistance.
A Long Term Reco...