Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced this week that so far 218 Mid-Missouri households have been approved for individual assistance grants totaling more than $942,000 following this year's tornado and flooding that ripped through the area.
The deadline for registering with Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance has passed, but agency officials emphasized this week this does not mean FEMA is leaving. The agency continues working with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency on the recovery process for this year's spring and summer severe storms and flooding.
As of Tuesday, FEMA reported there were 141 household individual assistance grant applications approved in Cole County for $656,701 in funding. There were 15 grant applications approved in Callaway County for $57,761. In Miller County, 53 grant applications were approved for $197,173. In Osage County, nine grant applications were approved for $30,493 in funding.
For flood insurance, 24 claims were submitted in Cole County with $864,778 in claims paid. There were 21 claims submitted in Callaway County with $557,078 in claims paid. Six claims were submitted in Osage County with $63,068 paid, and only one claim was submitted in Miller County with no claim money paid in that case.
In July, President Donald Trump approved Missouri's request for a major disaster declaration for Cole, Callaway, Miller and Osage counties along with 16 other counties impacted by flooding, tornadoes and severe storms since late April. This allowed residents in those counties to register for federal disaster assistance.
Recovery officials encourage Missouri residents who registered for disaster assistance with FEMA to stay in touch. If survivors change addresses or phone numbers, they should contact FEMA to update their information. Missing or incorrect information could result in delays in receiving assistance.
Applicants have the right to appeal FEMA's eligibility decisions, including the amount of the grant. Missouri survivors who don't agree with FEMA's eligibility decision may file an appeal within 60 days of receiving their determination letter, even though the registration deadline has passed. For information on additional documentation that should be submitted as part of an appeal, contact the FEMA helpline. Appeals must be made in writing explaining why the agency should re-evaluate its decision and sent by mail or fax to FEMA.
For more information on filing an appeal or other information, survivors can contact the FEMA assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 anytime from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week. Help is available in most languages.
Other ways to contact FEMA: DisasterAssistance.gov or DisasterAssistance.gov/es (for Spanish) or on the FEMA Mobile App (also in English and Spanish).
The application deadline for a U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loan for physical damage also has passed. In some circumstances, disaster loan applications may be accepted on a case by case basis after the deadline. For information, call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email DisasterCustomerService@SBA.gov, or visit SBA's website at sba.gov/disaster. If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-877-8339. The filing deadline for businesses to submit loan applications for economic injury is April 9, 2020.
FEMA officials also want to re-emphasize there is still help for those feeling stress after these disasters.
Free and confidential counseling is available to residents feeling stressed or overwhelmed because of the April 29-July 5 storms in the counties designated for federal disaster assistance which includes Cole, Callaway, Miller and Osage counties.
Residents in Callaway County should contact Arthur Center at 573-582-1234
Cole, Miller and Osage Counties should contact Compass Health at 844-853-8937
A separate counseling service is open to any Missouri resident experiencing stress or emotional strain from disasters. Contact the disaster distress helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-985-5990. You can also send the text message "TalkWithUs" to 66746.
Free disaster legal assistance is also available.
A toll-free Disaster Recovery Legal Assistance Hotline is open at 800-829-4128 and available to connect individuals affected by the disasters with volunteer lawyers who can help with:
Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims.
Help with home repair contracts and contractors.
Replacement of wills and other important legal documents lost or destroyed in the disaster.
Consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process.
Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems.
Counseling on landlord-tenant problems.
All calls are screened and referred to volunteer lawyers who provide a telephone consultation, offering free limited legal advice for disaster-related problems. Calls will be returned to those who leave their names, phone numbers and counties of residence.