The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open a disaster recovery center in Jefferson City on Sunday to provide one-on-one assistance to those impacted by flooding and the May 22 tornado.
The disaster recovery center will be open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily starting Sunday at the Cole County/Jefferson City Office of Emergency Management, 1736 Southridge Drive.
FEMA recovery specialists and U.S. Small Business Administration representatives can answer questions about the types of assistance available and provide information and updates about their disaster assistance applications, said FEMA spokesman John Mills told the News Tribune on Friday.
"These centers are temporary, so if someone wants to sit down with FEMA and the Small Business Administration face-to-face and get information, this is a very good opportunity to do that," Mills said. "You don't have to share personal business with everyone else. You can sit down one-on-one and ask questions about your specific needs."
FEMA also will open a temporary disaster recovery center at the Eldon Community Center, 309 E. Second St. in Eldon, on Monday. That center will operate from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. for a few days in Eldon before it moves on to visit Osage and Boone counties.
"The one in Jefferson City is not expected to change locations while this location is expected to move probably after two or three days," FEMA spokesman John Mills said.
Residents can use FEMA grants for temporary rental assistance, basic home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance.
As of Friday, FEMA has approved 572 households in Missouri for Individual Assistance grants and provided about $2.5 million to the those impacted by flooding, tornadoes and severe storms to help with their recovery, Mills said.
FEMA has provided $320,000 in Individual Assistance grants to about 50 households in Cole County, Mills added.
Mills recommended people register with FEMA before going to the disaster recovery center, but there will be people at the center to help those register. People can register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 between 7 a.m.-10 p.m. any day or by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov.
Missourians from any county can visit any recovery center, according to a Friday news release.
SBA and the Missouri Small Business Development Center partnered to open the SBA business recovery center at 917 Leslie Blvd. in Jefferson City on Wednesday. The center is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
SBA will continue to staff the business recovery center, as well as the new FEMA disaster recovery center, said Garth MacDonald, SBA Office of Disaster Assistance public information officer.
The SBA offers low-interest loans to businesses, renters, homeowners and nonprofits in places hit by declared disasters. Residents can apply for assistance at the SBA business recovery center, at SBA.gov/disaster or by calling 1-800-659-2955.
The FEMA disaster recovery center is designed to be a "one-stop shop for federal assistance," MacDonald said.
McDonald recommended all homeowners and renters FEMA refers to SBA apply for loans.
"Most people can say, 'I can't afford the loan. I have too many bills,'" MacDonald said. "You don't want them to make that determination because they could be putting themselves out of additional assistance."
MacDonald noted residents, business owners and nonprofits do not have to accept federal assistance.
"They can just have that option available so they aren't stuck without funds to recovery," he said.
President Donald Trump's July 9 major disaster declaration made individual assistance available to those impacted by flooding, tornadoes and severe storms since April 29 in Cole, Boone, Miller, Osage, Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Pike, Platte, Pulaski and St. Charles counties.
Gov. Mike Parson's office announced Thursday that FEMA will consider Missouri's request to include 21 additional counties, including Callaway County, to provide assistance to public agencies.
This article was edited at 5:15 p.m. July 19, 2019, to add information about the temporary recovery center in Eldon and to correct the spelling of Garth MacDonald's name.