Putnam County qualifies for aid

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels received news yesterday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that 26 Indiana counties are eligible for federal public assistance (PA) including Putnam County.

"PA is typically used by county government agencies to repair infrastructures like roads and bridges as well as debris removal and overtime for emergency personnel," said FEMA representative Greg Hughes.

State and local governments and certain non-profit organizations are now eligible to apply for federal public assistance funds to pay 75 percent of the approved costs for damages. A series of applicant briefings to explain the application process will soon be held for state and local officials.

"Other assistance from FEMA is available for individuals with disaster related damage," Hughes told the BannerGraphic Monday.

"Just because you have reported damage to the state does not mean you have notified FEMA. People need to make sure they come to one of the two local recovery centers, in Terre Haute and Spencer or apply online or by phone to FEMA," said Hughes.

The phone number to apply to FEMA for assistance is 800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at www.fema.gov.

"Even if you have insurance, you need to apply to FEMA. You may be eligible for additional funds. It's easier to apply now in case you find more damage later. Bring your insurance letter with you," added Hughes.

People who have received a rejection letter from FEMA should still register.

"Most of the time they just didn't complete something on the form or left out information. It's still best to come to one of the Recovery Centers if possible. Bring the letter with you," said Hughes.

As of Sunday FEMA has approved $32.4 million for the 37 designated disaster counties. They have registered 10,775 people for aid.

The Small Business Administration who is also offering assistance at the Recovery Centers has approved $600,000 in home loans. That number is expected to grow rapidly.

Homeowners are eligible for assistance up to $28,000. They can borrow up to $200,000 for real estate repairs. Renters can get up to $40,000 for replacement of disaster-damaged property.

The American Red Cross is also offering help at the Recovery Centers and as of June 22 had met with 639 Wabash Valley families, helping them obtain groceries, clothing, short-term lodging, bedding and personal health needs.

Total dollars obligated to date by the Red Cross to these individuals is $432,629.

If you don't know what to do, if you are in doubt about getting help, come to the recovery center and sit down with a FEMA representative.

"They will walk you through the process. If you received a rejection letter, if you have insurance or not, there is Other Needs Assistance (ONA) available," noted Hughes.

Once you have applied to FEMA you will receive a registration number. Make sure you keep that number handy. It is what identifies you in the system.

The Recovery Center at Spencer will be moving to another location after Wednesday.

"We'll announce the new location soon. It will move from area to area about every five days to be more accessible to people. The Center in Terre Haute will remain open there until there is no longer a need for FEMA," said Hughes.

Counties approved for federal public assistance are Bartholomew, Brown, Clay, Daviess, Decatur, Greene, Hancock, Henry, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Madison, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Parke, Pike, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo and Washington.

Counties approved for individual assistance are Adams, Bartholomew, Brown, Clay, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Huntington, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Shelby, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Washington and Wayne counties.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: