DES MOINES, Iowa -- More than $153 million in federal assistance has been approved for individuals, businesses and communities in Iowa, according to state and federal recovery officials.
As of July 8, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have announced that 78 Iowa counties are now included in the May 27 major federal disaster declaration. The May 25 Parkersburg tornado prompted the declaration with on-going severe storms, tornadoes and flooding bringing damage to more designated counties. Joint federal and state disaster assessments are on-going throughout the state.
A total of 29,248 households have registered in the 62 counties eligible for Individual Assistance. FEMA has approved 15,440 households for $84.5 million in housing grants. The deadline for victims to register for assistance has been extended to September 27.
This assistance may be used for temporary disaster housing and for the repair of owner-occupied disaster-damaged homes, returning them to livable condition. Nearly 25,000 homes have been inspected by FEMA since the disaster was declared.
In addition, $9 million has been approved for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) programs for serious, necessary disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 866 disaster loans for homes totaling nearly $50 million and 48 disaster loans for business totaling about $3.5 million. SBA officials encourage anyone who has received a loan application after registering with FEMA to turn it in as soon as possible in order to be eligible for some forms of further assistance.
SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, private non-profit organizations and businesses of all sizes for property losses not fully covered by insurance. In addition, small businesses may receive loans to help provide working capital funds to recover from the disaster's economic impact.
To date, FEMA has received 673 requests for Public Assistance (PA) grants from local governments in the 77 counties approved for PA. Funds have been obligated for 26 projects totaling $6.9 million.
FEMA will fund no less than 75 percent of the cost of debris removal and repair of damaged public facilities like schools, water treatment plants, utility systems, parks, bridges and roads. Under the PA program, FEMA will fund 90 percent of the cost of emergency response efforts taken to protect lives or property.
As of July 8, 23 Disaster Recovery Centers are open to distribute information about state, federal and non-profit organization assistance programs to those affected by the disaster. The centers have had more than 24,800 visits in designated counties.
Individuals may register for assistance online at www.fema.gov anytime or by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments. Hours for phone registration are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Applicants may also call those numbers to check on the status of their applications or to update them. They should call to report any additional damage.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.