In less than two weeks since President Bush issued a major disaster declaration, FEMA has approved a total of $1,058,273 in Ohio disaster assistance, recovery officials announced.
“At this point in the recovery process, we are focusing on and approving assistance through grants from the Individuals and Households Program (IHP),” explained Lee Champagne, FEMA’s coordinating officer. “This program provides temporary rental assistance for those whose homes have been destroyed or severely damaged and also funds repairs to make residences livable.”
IHP dollars approved for housing assistance total $797,708 while the amount approved for Other Needs Assistance is $260,565. This money is granted to cover eligible expenses such as medical, dental or funeral services, personal property replacement or transportation costs.
To date, a total of 1,783 Ohio residents in the 18 disaster-declared counties had called to register for assistance. Federal and state officials urge others affected in the winter storms and flooding that occurred between Dec. 22 and Feb. 1 to register immediately by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Phone lines will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until further notice. People may also register for assistance online at their convenience at www.fema.gov.
“I encourage Ohioans affected by the disaster to visit a regional disaster recovery center to obtain additional information on programs and services or to check the status of their applications,” said Ohio EMA Executive Director Nancy Dragani, state coordinating officer in the disaster recovery effort. “Staff at each center can also provide valuable information on how to prevent damage or loss in any future severe weather event.”
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