Flood survivors urged to register
On Monday, July 10 representatives from FEMA and SBA discussed with The South Missourian News the importance of flood survivors to register with FEMA.
The Alton recovery center will close Wednesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. If you are unable to register before this site closes, there are other sites survivors may register at; in Pocahontas at the old nursing home and in Walnut Ridge by the airport at the firefighters training center. These stations are open until further notice.
FEMA Media Relations Manager Scott Sanders and representatives from SBA met with The South Missourian News to clarify what assistance may be available for flood survivors.
Sanders stated that some of the information in the initial article concerning flood survivors and FEMA assistance was misleading and is urging that everyone that was affected by the flood to register with FEMA.
“We are trying to find every single person that is eligible to receive assistance,” said Sanders.
Thomasville is a sanctioned community, which means they do not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), however, Sanders stated they still want people to register.
The sanctioned status is not changeable for assistance, but survivors could still benefit from federal disaster assistance.
“The goal is to help everyone that qualifies, that we can,” said Dawn M. Hockett, public information officer with SBA.
Sanders stated there were 25 households in Oregon County that received $68,200 from FEMA individual assistance. He said they were obviously not eligible for the maximum amount of $33,000 grant award because of the flood insurance issue. “But there is still money to be had and we still want people to register,” said Sanders.
He urged for survivors to register and to fill out their SBA applications. The deadline for registering is Aug. 1, which means there are three weeks left to do so.
Cowell with SBA stated it was important to register with FEMA.
“It is utmost importance, they are referred to SBA by FEMA that they turn in their application or they may not be eligible for any other federal assistance,” said Cowell. Cowell stated that one does not know if they are eligible for a loan unless they apply.
“They have to go through the process to see if they are eligible,” said Hockett.
There is a 60-day time span from the time of declaration to register and apply.
Cowell stated there are volunteer organizations that help with clean-up of a flood affected community.
Sanders state the long-term recovery could also be affected.
“The long-term recovery and voluntary organizations are coordinated through the registration process. The state will try to coordinate all the volunteer organizations and the faith-based organizations to tell them where the needs are. If people do not register, they do not know where to send them,” said Sanders.
Sanders also stated that once an individual is helped during an incident such as this, it does not make them ineligible for assistance if another incident were to occur as this would lead to an allotment of different funds being made available.