FEMA and SBA assistance tops $25 million for Kentucky storm, tornado survivors
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Just 30 days after President Joe Biden declared a major disaster for the Commonwealth of Kentucky following the Dec. 10 tornadoes and flooding, more than $25 million in federal assistance has been provided by FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support disaster recovery.
“FEMA and our federal partners are working closely with the commonwealth to provide help to thousands of storm survivors as quickly as possible,” said John Brogan, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for the Kentucky disaster recovery operation. “Federal assistance is just one part of the whole community effort to support Kentucky’s recovery from last month’s storms and tornadoes.”
According to FEMA, as of Jan. 12, 2022, Kentucky’s recovery assistance includes:
- More than $9.6 million in Individual and Households Program (IHP) grants awarded to eligible homeowners and renters in 16 Kentucky counties. These grants help pay for uninsured and underinsured losses and storm-related damage, including:
- More than $6.9 million in FEMA housing grants to help pay for home repair, home replacement and rental assistance for temporary housing.
- More than $2.7 million in Other Needs Assistance grants to help pay for personal property replacement and other serious storm-related needs—such as moving and storage fees, transportation, childcare, and medical and dental expenses.
- More than $15.5 million in long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations to repair, rebuild or replace disaster-damaged physical property and to cover economic injury from the December storms and tornadoes.
The 16 counties designated for Individual Assistance in this disaster are: Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor, and Warren.
According to emergency officials, the commonwealth and FEMA have staffed and operated 18 Disaster Recovery Centers in 14 counties which provide one-on-one assistance to survivors. The centers have tallied more than 2,200 visits by survivors. In addition, a FEMA Mobile Registration Center is open Marshall County.
- FEMA response staff was on site at the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center within hours of the storm. To date more than 500 FEMA personnel have deployed to the operation to execute disaster assistance and recovery programs in partnership with the Kentucky.
- In the early days of response FEMA deployed Urban Search and Rescue teams to assist in life saving actions. Other specialized teams were deployed to work on power restoration and debris assessment.
- FEMA has sent Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams to storm-impacted neighborhoods in every designated county. These teams travel door-to-door in hard-hit neighborhoods helping survivors apply for assistance. DSA teams work with commonwealth and local emergency managers to identify and conduct targeted outreach to underserved communities, visit homes, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to help residents register for assistance, identify, and address immediate and emerging needs, and make referrals to other local, commonwealth, and voluntary agencies for additional support.
- These teams provide information on resources available from federal and state governments, nonprofit organizations, and the faith-based community to help address immediate needs.
- To date, DSA personnel have visited more than 5,400 homes and more than 300 businesses; they have interacted with more than 6,000 survivors and have registered more than 1,500 households for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program.
- FEMA is working to remove barriers to assistance, ensuring all survivors have equal access to disaster aid and resources.
- No one’s background or primary language is a barrier to receiving FEMA financial assistance. FEMA offers help in 75 languages available through our call centers to assist caseworkers and processing staff to provide customer service to non-English speaking applicants. Live operators are available by phone.
- FEMA is providing timely translation of information and resources into Spanish and multiple other languages identified in Kentucky.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program reimburses counties, the Commonwealth, tribes, and certain nonprofits for eligible costs of disaster-related debris removal, emergency protective measures and repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities, such as roads, bridges, public utilities, including water treatment and electrical plants, government buildings and parks.
- FEMA mission assigned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to manage debris removal in Graves County. The Corps has deployed 175 personnel. USACE estimates that more than 80,000 cubic yards of debris have been removed from roads in Graves County.
- President Biden approved an increase in the federal cost share for tornado-related debris removal in Kentucky from 75% to 100% for a period of 30 days in the first 120 days following the Dec. 12, 2021 declaration. The commonwealth will determine which 30-day window will best suit the needs. Twenty-three counties Kentucky Counties are now eligible funding under this program.
For more information about Kentucky tornado recovery, click HERE.