Disaster Aid to Hoosiers Nears $10 Million

February 25, 2005

A total $9,270,809 in grants has been approved for assistance for 70 percent of the claims in Indiana since the disaster declaration on Jan. 21, according to figures released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). Disaster officials added that the number of approved claims will continue to rise as more applications are processed.

The following is an update of recovery activities as of close of business Thursday, Feb. 24.

* 11,405 individuals from the 85 declared counties have applied for assistance;
* 6,859 claims have been approved for the Individuals and Household Program totaling $9,270,809 in grants;
* 1,749 people have visited one of the 20 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) that were temporarily opened in various locations to help meet the needs of disaster victims;
* 5,386 home loan and 874 business loan applications have been issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Application and helpline numbers continue to operate.

Individuals, families and business owners who suffered losses in the declared counties should apply for assistance by calling FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairment. These numbers are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available to take the call. Individuals with Internet access now have the option to apply on FEMA’s Web site at www.fema.gov , where valuable recovery information is also available. As of March 1, there will only be three weeks remaining to apply for assistance. The application deadline is Tuesday, March 22.

Individuals and families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the recent severe winter storms and flooding that occurred between Jan. 1 and Feb. 11, and are in one of the 85 declared counties in Indiana, may be eligible for the Individuals and Households Program.

This assistance may 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.

Crisis counseling program

A Crisis Counseling Program has been approved and will utilize Project Aftermath. The program is administered by the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction and funded by FEMA with a grant of $101,982. The program is funded through March 21 and provides counseling for those affected by the severe winter storms and flooding. Those interested in crisis counseling should call 1-800-564-6460. The phone line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA has issued 6,260 loan applications to homeowners, renters and/or 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 other forms of disaster assistance. Loan officers are available at all SBA Disaster Outreach Centers to help applicants who need assistance completing their loan applications.

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