Archive for Wednesday, February 20, 2002

FEMA to offer financial assistance to those with storm damage expenses

February 20, 2002

The ice storm that hit eastern Kansas, including Baldwin City, a few weeks ago left a lot of people with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.

But the Federal Emergency Management Agency is trying to assist those individuals affected by the storm.

"Basically, what I've learned is that they want to talk to people about their relative inconvenience from the ice storm," City Administrator Larry Paine said.

Thirty-five Kansas counties, including Douglas, are eligible for state and federal aid to help cover ice-storm expenses.

FEMA has announced that more than $1.3 million in disaster assistance has been approved for Kansas and Missouri counties to help cover temporary housing, disaster unemployment, low-interest loans for businesses, renters and home owners and grants for disaster-related needs.

"What it sounds like is they may pay for a family who spent nights in a motel because of not having power," Paine said. "Another thing they're talking about is if people had to buy something like a generator to run electricity or a chainsaw to cut limbs to gain access to property.

"Also one of the things they said to look at was the reimbursement of the cost of repairing electric service that pulled away from the house," he said.

Anyone in Douglas County could be possible recipients of financial assistance, he said.

"It's not the city only," he said. "It is an area-wide interest here."

Paine said financial assistance is available by calling FEMA at (800) 621-3362 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. He said individuals should be ready to explain to FEMA why they feel they need assistance.

"The whole idea is for people to call FEMA and ask them their questions," he said.

Paine said he encourages anyone with storm damage to call FEMA.

"If people think they are eligible for reimbursement, give FEMA a call," he said. "Not every situation is possible for reimbursement, but unless you call, you don't know."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.