FEMA OKs individual storm aid for southern Minnesota

Homeowners, renters and business owners in Blue Earth, Freeborn, Hennepin, Le Sueur, Rice, Steele and Waseca counties affected by the floods in September are now eligible for federal assistance after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reversed its original decision this week. 
Gov. Dayton originally requested the assistance for communities in southern Minnesota on October 19, 2016. He formally appealed FEMA’s original decision to deny individual assistance on November 17, 2016. Damage assessments by FEMA, HSEM, and local governments found $8.3 million in eligible public infrastructure damage and $10.1 million in estimated individual and household needs.
To receive aid, people must register with (FEMA) to be eligible for federal disaster assistance for flooding damages and losses in Minnesota.
Disaster survivors may register in any of the following ways:
Online at DisasterAssistance.gov;
On the FEMA Mobile App;
Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA);
Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service should call 800-621-3362;
People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585;
The toll-free numbers are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time, seven days a week;
Multilingual operators are available.
Survivors should contact their insurance company to file an insurance claim. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who are underinsured may be eligible for help.
Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs. Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or benefits from other agencies or organizations.
Survivors who cannot afford to repay an SBA loan may be eligible for additional FEMA assistance, but must submit a loan application before that can be determined.
After registering with FEMA, applicants will be contacted by a FEMA-contracted housing inspector to schedule an appointment to inspect the house and determine the extent of damage. When registering, applicants should provide a contact telephone number where they always can be reached or receive messages.
FEMA assistance is limited to the amount necessary to make the home safe, sanitary and secure for the number of occupants who live there. The cost of repairing additional spaces such as family rooms, dens or extra bedrooms is not considered. Repair cost estimates are based on standard material and construction costs.
The application deadline is January 28, 2017.

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