Monday, April 7, 2014

"Federal Aid Programs for State of Washington Disaster Recovery"

This seems to be the most recent information.
Federal Aid Programs for State of Washington Disaster Recovery |
Release date: April 2, 2014
Release Number: HQ-14-021FS

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Washington.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

    Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes were destroyed or 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.  (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, child care assistance 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; state administered.)
    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.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
    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. (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: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
    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.
(Those are the sorts of things I was supposed to be helping folks sign up for when I was involved in the Hurricane Sandy response, BTW.  We thought we were going to be passing out blankets and bottled water, some probably had visions of being some sort of shake-and-bake instant Urban Search and Rescue teams, but they turned us into administrative assistants...)

Part of the reason I bring it up is that Mrs. Drang came into the bedroom last night (I had already gone to bed, it was a school night, but I was reading) and told me that on the news they had said that "FEMA is raising money to rebuild houses destroyed in the mudslide so folks can move back in."

While I advise against underestimating the stupidity of bureaucrats, not to mention the ability of The Press to Get It Wrong, I suspect that item number 2
Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
is going to run into a lot of "We are very sorry, this house/homesite cannot be made safe or habitable."

And then what's a volunteer to do?

Or a political appointee, or an elected official, in election year?

Please note that my Wookie Suit is hanging in the closet as I type this. 
The FEMA release goes on:
How to Apply for Individual Assistance:
  • Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA will work closely with residents, tribal members and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one-on-one basis. 
  • Affected individuals and business owners in designated areas can begin the disaster application process by registering online, at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at  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. Online registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The toll-free telephone numbers are operating from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice. 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.
The 'slide itself was localized enough that everyone impacted has probably been contacted. 

I'm sure the scam artists have come out of the woodworks, too.

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