MORE THAN $8 MILLION IN MISSOURI FLOOD AID APPROVED

 MORE THAN $8 MILLION IN MISSOURI FLOOD AID APPROVED

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— More than $8 million in disaster aid has been approved in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for Missouri residents and businesses suffering damage from the severe storms and flooding between June 1 and Aug. 13, state and federal officials announced Friday.

Below is a recovery summary as of the close of business Sept. 19, 2008 for the Individual Assistance program in the declared counties of Adair, Andrew, Cass, Clark, Gentry, Greene, Holt, Johnson, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Marion, Monroe, Nodaway, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, St. Charles, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Stone, Taney, Vernon, Webster, and Worth.

· More than $3.7 million has been approved in housing assistance to help disaster-affected Missourians with temporary housing and home repairs. Another $343,075 has been approved for Other Needs Assistance (ONA), which may include the repair or replacement of personal property and disaster-related transportation, moving, and medical expenses. Missouri provides 25 percent of ONA money provided to applicants.

· 1,998 individuals have applied for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) toll-free registration number at: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., until further notice. Multilingual operators are also available. Those affected by the storms can also register online at www.fema.gov. The deadline to apply for assistance is Sept. 30, 2008.

· 1,588 damage inspections have been completed. Those who may be awaiting an inspector are reminded to keep their appointments to speed recovery assistance.

· More than $3.9 million has been approved for homeowners and businesses by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Those who have questions about low-interest loans from SBA can call 1-800-659-2955, e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visit SBA’s Web site at: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

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MORE THAN $8 MILLION IN AID APPROVED FOR MISSOURI JUNE FLOODING — PAGE 2

· SBA has issued a total of 1,561 applications to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofits. It is important that these applications are completed and returned as soon as possible. Completing the SBA loan application is a crucial step in the recovery process and may determine eligibility for other types of disaster assistance.

· $8,000 has been paid in Disaster Unemployment Assistance to individuals whose employment was affected by the flooding. The program is administered by the state using FEMA funding and is secondary to non-disaster unemployment assistance.

· 1,320 people visited 6 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to talk face-to-face with recovery specialists, get help with SBA loan application, or check the status of their applications. All DRCs are now closed.

· FEMA Community Relations (CR) specialists working in disaster-designated counties have visited more than 1,500 flood-stricken residents as well as business owners, church leaders, community groups and local officials, to provide disaster assistance and recovery information.

· FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Community Education and Outreach has visited 285 public libraries and Missouri Extension offices to distribute information on how to rebuild stronger in future storm events.

· A disaster stress hotline is available through the LifeRAFT Crisis line, 1-866-384-1254. A counselor is available to help those impacted in a disaster to understand their current situation and reactions.

· The Young Lawyers Section of the Missouri Bar disaster hotline at 1-800-829-4128 is available to assist people in the disaster-affected counties with basic legal questions, such as replacing lost documents, housing/landlord/tenant disputes, mortgage foreclosure information, consumer rights, and insurance questions. Leave a message to receive a call from a legal specialist. There is no charge for the service.

· Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information on how to claim disaster losses and other information can be found at www.irs.gov (click on storms, floods, tornadoes and other disasters and then choose Missouri). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040. Disaster assistance from FEMA is not taxable.

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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 terror.

SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, nationality, age, disability, English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you or someone you known has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY Call 800-462-7585.

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