PRESIDENT DECLARES DISASTER FOR PENNSYLVANIA
-from the Citizen's Voice :)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Tropical Storm Lee beginning on Sept. 3 and continuing.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Adams, Bradford, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wyoming, and York.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the disaster declaration can provide many types of aid to individuals and businesses affected by last week's flood. The following aid programs can be made available as needed and warranted:
Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for two months for homeowners and renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
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 from the date of the disaster declaration 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 include 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 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.
How to apply :
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov
, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov
or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585
directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362
. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Follow FEMA online at http://blog.fema.gov
, and www.youtube.com/fema
. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema