USA: After five weeks, disaster recovery aid tops $8.6 million

News and Press Release
Originally published
CORDELE, Ga. -- Five weeks after President Bush's March 3 disaster declaration for the severe storms and tornadoes, disaster recovery grants, loans, and Public Assistance funds approved for Georgia families, individuals, business owners, and local governments now total more than $8.64 million.

The new total, $2.16 million more than last week's total, was announced today by officials of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The following breaks down disaster-recovery aid for the 15 counties now authorized to receive funds to spur recovery from the severe storms and tornadoes of March 1-2. At the close of business April 10:

  • 1,805 households have registered for Individual Assistance.

  • $1,064,673 has been approved through the Individuals and Household Program. Of that, FEMA has provided $700,081 in Housing Assistance and $364,592 in Other Needs Assistance (ONA).

  • $6,542,900 in loans has been approved by the SBA for homeowners, renters, individuals and businesses affected by the severe storms and tornadoes. Of this, $5,099,700 has been approved for home loans and $1,443,200 has been approved for businesses. SBA operates a Business Recovery Center in Americus at the South Georgia Technical College's Pope Center, open from 8.a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • To date, 905 home inspections have been scheduled and 900 have been completed. There is one inspector in the field.

  • 2,288 people visited seven Disaster Recovery Centers established to meet the recovery information needs of individuals in the counties affected by the disaster.

  • 71 Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims have been filed and $16,659 has been approved.

  • $1,029,189 in federal Public Assistance funds has been obligated to the state of Georgia for debris removal and repairs to public facilities.

  • Federal and state aid for the severe storms and tornadoes of March 1-2 is authorized for 15 Georgia counties: seven for both Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA), two for IA only, and six for PA only.
Counties receiving IA are Baker, Crawford, Dougherty, McDuffie, Mitchell, Sumter, Taylor, Warren and Worth. Homeowners, renters and business owners in these counties have until May 2 to register for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with impaired- speech or hearing can call TTY 800-462-7585. Applicants also can register online at

Counties receiving PA are Baker, Clay, Crawford, Hancock, McDuffie, Mitchell, Muscogee, Stewart, Sumter, Taylor, Warren, Webster and Wilkinson.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, economic status or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or contact your State Office of Equal rights. If suspicious of any abuse of FEMA programs, please contact the fraud hotline at 1-800-323-8603.

FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.