FEMA: Disaster Aid is Comprehensive - Some Helpful Information

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), United States Small Business Administration (SBA), and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) have made individual disaster assistance available to Iowans living in the five counties impacted by the 2011 Missouri River flooding (Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Pottawattamie counties).

The first step in obtaining disaster assistance is to register with FEMA if your home, business or property has been damaged. During registration, you will need to provide the following information: A primary phone number and a reliable alternative number Address of the damaged property Your Social Security number Current mailing address A brief description of the damages Insurance information (homeowner’s; business; renters) Bank account information (for FEMA direct deposit) Proof of residency

Disaster survivors can register with FEMA and SBA for assistance through one of the following ways: Call FEMA’s toll-free Registration Helpline 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 1-800-462-7585, or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362; Lines are open from 7 AM–10 PM, 7 days a week until December 19, 2011; Disaster survivors may also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by Smartphone at m.fema.gov; Information on SBA disaster loan assistance can be obtained by calling: 1-800-659-2955, or by visiting the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services.disasterassistance. Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call TTY 1-800-877-8339; Applicants can also spend face-to-face time with FEMA Individual Assistance (IA), Hazard Mitigation, and SBA representatives at the Disaster Recovery Centers in Fremont (Sidney) and Pottawattamie counties (Council Bluffs).

Once you are registered, FEMA will determine your eligibility and refer you for the following types of disaster assistance: Grants for home repairs, replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make the damaged dwelling safe, sanitary and functional. Grants to replace damaged personal property not covered by insurance. Rental payments for temporary housing if the home is unlivable. Rental assistance may be provided for up to three months to homeowners and one month to renters. After a review, the time period may be extended. Unemployment payments for up to 26 weeks for workers who have lost their jobs due to the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. Low-interest loans from the SBA to cover property losses to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations. SBA low-interest loans for working capital for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations that suffered disaster-related economic injury, regardless if the entity had property damage. Homeowners and renters who complete an SBA disaster loan application, but are denied a disaster loan, may be referred for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) awards. An initial denial letter from SBA may also be appealed. ONA is part of FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. ONA grants help meet disaster-related medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other essential personal property losses not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. (For information, call the ONA Helpline at 1-866-434-4692, hours: 8:30 AM-5 PM M-F, 9 AM-12 PM Saturday) Emergency funds are also available from FEMA to sustain you until your insurance claim is paid. (FEMA emergency funds are considered temporary loans which will need to be paid back out of your insurance settlement.) Loans from the Rural Development office of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are available for farmers and ranchers to cover production and property losses, excluding the primary residence. (For information on USDA programs call Iowa USDA at 1-712-243-2107 ext. 4 or visit the website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.)

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Published on: 2011-11-14

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