FRANKFORT, Ky. – Three months after the historic Dec. 10-11 storms and tornadoes ravaged the commonwealth, more than $64 million in federal assistance has been approved for Kentucky homeowners, business owners and renters.
The assistance includes FEMA grants; long-term, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration; claims paid by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program as well as federally funded Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
FEMA’s temporary housing program for eligible families whose homes were destroyed or left uninhabitable is key to the Kentucky recovery effort. The program, which was offered to eligible survivors in Caldwell, Graves, Hopkins, Marshall, Muhlenberg and Warren counties, aims to keep tornado-impacted communities intact.
The program helps families move into safe, clean apartments and mobile homes while the repair and rebuilding work gets underway.
FEMA also works with the commonwealth and its federal, local and non-governmental partners to ensure the families placed in FEMA housing have access to the full range of recovery support services. Meanwhile, survivors in temporary housing are planning for their long-term housing needs.
Homeowners and renters who had damage or losses from the tornadoes have until Monday, March 14, to apply for FEMA disaster assistance.
Since the Dec. 12 presidential disaster declaration, federal assistance approved for survivors includes:
- $14.4 million under the FEMA Individuals and Households Program, including:
- $10.4 million in housing assistance (including $2.1 million in rental assistance)
- $3.9 million for medical and dental expenses, childcare, moving and storage, and other essential storm-related expenses
- $49 million in SBA disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses
- $824,460 approved in Disaster Unemployment Assistance, or funding for Kentuckians who lost their jobs or have been unable to work as a result of the tornadoes. The program is funded by FEMA and operated by The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance.
More than 6,900 survivors have visited the 18 Disaster Recovery Centers that were operating in Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor and Warren counties. Three recovery centers remain open but even as they make plans to close, residents are reminded to keep in touch with FEMA by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.
Over the past three months, FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance teams interacted with more than 10,000 survivors, helping them apply for FEMA assistance and providing updates on their accounts.
FEMA’s Voluntary Agency Liaisons and hundreds of individual volunteers have provided survivors with more than 17,700 meals and answered 909 requests for chainsaws. In addition, volunteers logged more than 37,000 hours — the equivalent of about 4,500 eight-hour days.
And the work has not ended. Not by a long shot.
Under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, commonwealth, county and local governments as well as private nonprofit organizations and houses of worship may be eligible for reimbursement of eligible emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. In all, 116 eligible applicants have filed requests for Public Assistance to cover repairs and rebuilding.
To apply to FEMA, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS) or captioned telephone service, give FEMA the number for that service. Helpline operators are available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.