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Contact(s):Matt Burks
City of Little Rock Emergency Management Administrator
501-569-4130

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, April 10, 2008

FEMA ANNOUNCES FEDERAL AID PROGRAMS FOR STORM DISASTER RECOVERY

FEMA ANNOUNCES FEDERAL AID PROGRAMS FOR STORM DISASTER RECOVERY

(Little Rock, AR) Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that can be made available under President Bush's major disaster declaration for March and April severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Arkansas.
Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include:
• Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to two 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. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
• Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
• 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. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
• 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. (Source: FEMA funded; administered by Arkansas Workforce Services.)
• 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 $1.5 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
• Loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses 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 $1.5 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
• Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency.)
• Other relief programs: income tax assistance for filing casualty losses and advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.
• 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 to protect property and public health and for repairing, restoring or replacing damaged public facilities. Disaster assistance also may be provided for damage to facilities owned by certain nonprofit organizations that operate and maintain educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care and other essential governmental service facilities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
• Grants under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments after a major disaster declaration to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property in future disasters. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of eligible costs; 25 percent funded from non-federal sources, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:
• Affected residents and business owners in counties designated for Individual Assistance can begin the disaster application process by registering online at www.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 daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (local time). 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 in counties designated for Public Assistance 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.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and emergency management agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies.
FEMA coordinates the Federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terrorism.

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