Monday, February 23, 2009

Disaster Recovery Aid Available in Washington

Since the Presidential disaster declaration was issued on Jan. 30 for 15 Washington counties, nearly $5.5 million in federal disaster assistance has been paid to residents of those counties to help them recover from January's severe winter storms, landslides, mudslides and flooding, announced officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Washington Emergency Management Division (WEMD).

As of the close of business last Thursday, 2,639 homeowners and renters have applied for disaster assistance. Inspectors have visited 2,117 homes. Grants awarded to date total $5,165,948, which includes:

  • $4,807,003 in housing assistance to cover temporary rental assistance, home repairs and replacement
  • $358,945 in other needs assistance to cover essential personal property losses, medical, dental, funeral, transportation or other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance

In addition, $330,900 in Small Business Administration Home Loans has been awarded to pay for the repair or replacement of homes or personal property not fully covered by insurance or other compensation, bringing the total of disaster assistance so far to $5,496,848.

Applicants can register for FEMA assistance by calling, toll-free, 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA), TTY 1-800-462-7585, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, or registering online at

Residents of the following counties are eligible to receive disaster assistance: Benton, Cowlitz, Clallam, Grays Harbor, King, Kittitas, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum and Whatcom.

Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) have been set up across the state as a resource for Washington residents. DRCs are established to help people without telephone or Internet service register and to answer specific questions about disaster assistance programs, registration and eligibility. It is not necessary to visit a Recovery Center to register for assistance.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I truly understand how hard it must be for the citizens to start all over because of a national disaster. I remember that when I travelled to Argentina, some of the Buenos Aires apartments had been damaged because of a flood and the government also decided to provide assistance. Tourists that were in a temporary rental received a lot of benefits!