Fla. Panhandle Residents Obtain $464 Million in Disaster Aid Following Ivan

November 1, 2004

Residents of Florida’s Panhandle who were affected by Hurricane Ivan have received to date a total of $464,140,000 in federal and state disaster aid, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) announced.

That aid comes in the form of grants to homeowners and renters, low-interest loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), funds approved for various emergency measures prior to, during and following the storm, and financial aid to state and local governments and certain private, non-profit organizations.

Total assistance to individuals amounted to $98.9 million. Of that amount, $49.5 million was made available to cover such expenses as temporary housing and/or home repair, and $49.5 million was allocated to cover such necessary expenses as medical and dental costs, transportation expenses and other storm related needs.

FEMA has obligated $314.7 million to cover increased costs of emergency protective measures since Hurricane Ivan struck the panhandle area on September 16, 2004.

The SBA has approved $50.5 million in low-interest loans to both individuals and business owners.

Storm damage to community public facilities (infrastructure) might overwhelm a community’s operational budget. FEMA assists with the recovery from such damages by paying 90 percent of the storm-related costs of eligible projects. So far, Panhandle communities have submitted 172 requests for such aid. These requests are currently under review for determination of eligibility.

Immediately after Hurricane Ivan hit, FEMA began the process of providing roof tarps so that storm victims could make temporary repairs to their roofs to prevent further damage to their homes. Contractors and AmeriCorps also began installing plastic sheeting. Approximately 97,700 tarps were delivered, and 35,740 installations of plastic sheeting were completed.

FEMA inspectors performed more than 75,600 housing inspections to verify damage claims. Some 7,540 flood insurance claims have been submitted since the storm came ashore.

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