Residents of Muscatine County can now apply for disaster assistance to help them recover from the March 12-June 15 severe storms and flooding.
They join nine counties already designated for state and federal help to individuals: Fremont, Harrison, Louisa, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, Scott, Shelby and Woodbury. The deadline for applying for assistance is Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
FEMA disaster assistance for homeowners and renters may include grants to help pay for temporary housing and minimal home repairs as well as other disaster-related unmet needs such as eligible medical and dental expenses and replacing essential personal property.
FEMA registration is quick and easy. You can choose one of three ways to register for federal disaster assistance prior to the July 16 deadline:
- Go online to www.disasterassistance.gov OR
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are on duty, OR
- Use FEMA’s disaster app on your smartphone. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you can go to www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
Those who live in Muscatine County who have already registered with FEMA do not need to re-apply.
If you have registered with FEMA and reported damage to your house, you will receive a call from an inspector to arrange for a visit.
Here is a step-by-step process to get started:
- Document your damage – photos/video, list of damaged contents.
- Contact your insurance agent to see if there is coverage under homeowners, renters and/or flood insurance policies. You will need to submit either insurance settlement information or a denial to FEMA as part of your registration so federal benefits can be correctly calculated. By law, FEMA cannot provide disaster assistance for the same damage already covered by other means such as insurance or aid from other agencies.
After applying with FEMA, some survivors may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Low-interest disaster loans from SBA are available for eligible survivors. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.
These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits from other agencies or organizations.
If referred to SBA, residents and business owners should apply immediately as part of the overall federal disaster recovery process. Do not wait for insurance claims to be settled. There is no cost to apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan and no obligation to accept one, if approved.
The Iowa Department of Human Rights can provide information on resources for people with disabilities. Call 515-242-5655 or go online at https://humanrights.Iowa.gov.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has faced discrimination or needs help with accessible communication, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available.