Flood Assistance

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FEMA Urges Flood Victims To Apply For Assistance

By Joe Foreman, Editor

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging victims of spring and summer flooding in southwest Iowa to apply for individual assistance from the federal government.

    FEMA has established Disaster Recovery Centers at the Red Cross Building in Council Bluffs (Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus, 705 N. 16 St.) and in Sidney at the Emergency Operations Center (2014 290th St.). Before visiting a Disaster Recovery Center, flood victims should register for assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 (toll free) or going online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
    FEMA public information officer Cynthia Kimber said the registration process is the first step toward potential assistance.
    “Seven to 10 days after registering, they’ll be contacted to schedule an inspection of their property, whether they’re renters or home owners,” Kimber said.
    Both grants and disaster loans are available to cover costs associated with rental, repairs, relocation and storage. Kimber said a major source of disaster loan funding for individuals and families comes from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
    “If they’re found to be ineligible for SBA (loan), it opens the door for other needs of assistance from FEMA,” Kimber said. “Essential personal property, repair or replacement of an essential vehicle, moving and storage.”
    Kimber said she strongly encourages all flood victims to register for assistance and make a visit to one of the Disaster Recovery Centers.
    “It’s a way to have their questions answered by talking to someone face to face.”
    The centers in Council Bluffs and Sidney are open Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.