President: Major Disaster in Bartow
Individuals, organizations and businesses affected by the tornadoes can apply for federal assistance.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today federal disaster aid has been made available to Georgia to supplement the state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and associated flooding during the period of April 27 to 28.
President Barack Obama's declaration of Georgia as a major disaster area makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Bartow, Catoosa, Dade, Floyd, Polk, Spalding and Walker counties. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis in the counties of Bartow, Catoosa, Coweta, Dade, Floyd, Greene, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Spalding, Troup and Walker for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated county can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Georgia.
Assistance for affected individuals and families can include as required:
- Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
- Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
- Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
- Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
- Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
- Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
- Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.
- Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans’ benefits; and social security matters.
Assistance for the state and affected local governments can include as required:
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.
- Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.
How to Apply for Assistance:
- Those in the county designated for assistance to affected individuals and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.
- Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.