WINDSOR, Conn. -- With close to $5.5 million already approved for the State of Connecticut the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) still has some concerns. The window of opportunity is slowly but surely closing for those individuals who had damages during the April severe storms and flooding.
The main concern is getting those affected to register with FEMA. "If an individual does not have a FEMA registration number they are not considered for federal funding," says Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Parker. "It seems that there is still confusion regarding the FEMA registration process. We are here to help. In order to do that effectively, individuals need to register with FEMA. We can not assist an individual if we are not aware of the situation."
To date, 2,289 individuals have registered for assistance, and over $2.2 million in grants for individuals and households has been approved by FEMA. These grants are used for temporary rental assistance for those who were forced to leave their homes, funds to make essential repairs, money to help pay for transportation and to replace damaged household items and personal property.
"FEMA has come to help and done exactly what they promised. There is still time to apply for assistance if an individual?s property was affected by the April storms," added Governor M. Jodi Rell. "If you spoke with your local Emergency Manager or called our 211 number, that does not register you with FEMA."
With 10 days remaining, 5.5 million in disaster relief is approved for:
- $2,205,241 in grants to help individuals and households;
- $1,647,735 in Public Assistance grants to help local governments; and
- $1,576,300 in low interest Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to help homeowners, renters and business owners.
Inspecting the Property
A key step in the approval process for disaster aid is the inspection, and assessment of the property. Inspectors examine damaged properties of those who register for disaster assistance to confirm eligibility for assistance. To date 2,021 houses have been inspected.
Helping the Public
FEMA and the State of Connecticut are providing assistance through the Public Assistance program for Fairfield and Litchfield counties. The program helps local government agencies, private, and non profit organizations that serve a public purpose. FEMA contributes 75 percent of the funding for eligible projects.
To date FEMA has received 197 requests for grants to fund repairs of damaged infrastructure and to reimburse public agencies for expenses incurred responding to the April 15-16 storm. FEMA has obligated funding for 180 of these projects, totaling $1,647,734. The remaining requests are under review.
Small Business Administration Services
The SBA issued 1,990 home loan applications and 291 business loan applications through to August 2, 2007. Of those 2281 applications, 267 have been returned. If a person is approved for a low interest, disaster recovery loan they are not obligated to accept that loan.
The agency has approved $1,576,300 in loans.
Many Connecticut residents who registered for aid and receive an SBA loan application must complete and return the packet as a step in the process to become eligible for some types of FEMA grants and other assistance.
In closing Parker says, "If you have registered with FEMA, tell your friends and tell your neighbors how the process works. FEMA is in Conn...