COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Federal assistance has reached $17.7 million for flood-stricken Ohio residents, disaster recovery officials reported today.
Since the June 3 federal disaster declaration, residents and business owners in 23 counties have been declared eligible for federal assistance by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
At the close of business Thursday, 8,842 housing assistance grants totaling $11,104,092 had been approved.
Another 6,538 grants totaling $4,262,875 have been approved to meet other disaster-related needs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 176 low-interest disaster loans totaling $2,424,100.
To date, 32,652 people have registered for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment. Both lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
FEMA has completed 31,184 inspections of homes where flood and storm damage was reported.
“If you are in a declared county, and your home was damaged or destroyed by the flooding, you may be eligible for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program if,” said Dale W. Shipley, state coordinating officer for the disaster recovery and executive director of Ohio Emergency Management Agency. “If you had damage, call your insurance agent and then call FEMA if you need to start the assistance process.”
Residents of the 23 counties included in the disaster declaration have until August 2 to register for aid. Eligible counties are Athens, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Geauga, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Noble, Perry, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit and Tuscarawas. The disaster declaration covers storm and flooding damage incurred between May 18 and June 21.
Grants from the Individual Assistance Program can be used for temporary disaster housing assistance; repairing disaster-damaged, uninsured homes to a safe, sanitary and functional condition; and replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA has issued 14,609 loan applications to homeowners, renters and business owners. Officials urge applicants to complete their loan paperwork as soon as possible, even if they have not received a final settlement from their insurance company. If the loan application is not returned it will delay or prevent receiving other forms of disaster assistance.
SBA offers loans up to $200,000 to repair disaster damaged primary residences. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to replace personal property such as furniture and clothing. Loans to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations are available up to $1.5 million to repair damage to real estate, machinery and equipment, and inventory. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are also available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses.
The Ohio EMA coordinates State assistance and resources during an emergency and prepares the state for all hazards through planning, training, exercises and funding activities at the state and local level. This includes providing assistance to individuals and administering state and federal assistance to individuals and governmental entities recovering from disaster-related damage and costs. Ohio EMA coordinates homeland security funding, weapons of mass destruction training, anti-terrorism planning and training, and assists local and state agencies determine homeland strategies and priorities.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new departmen...