Disaster Assistance tops $28 million for West Virginia storm survivors


Release date:
July 13, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR 30

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Disaster assistance grants approved for homeowners and renters affected by last month’s severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides, has reached more than $28 million, less than three weeks after President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for West Virginia. 

That total includes more than $24.2 million in housing assistance and more than $4.3 million in other needs assistance. More than 6,900 households and businesses have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to date. Disaster assistance may include grants to help homeowners and renters pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacement, and serious disaster-related needs.

During the same period, one of FEMA’s partners in disaster recovery, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved 55 low-interest disaster loans to businesses, homeowners and renters, totaling just over $3 million. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property.

Federal disaster assistance is now available to residents of 12 counties: Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers, and Webster. FEMA-contracted housing inspectors have completed more than 5,400 inspections of disaster-damaged properties to verify damage. There are currently 32 inspectors in the field.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages all survivors who sustained disaster-related damage or losses to apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362. (TTY users should call 800-462-7585.) The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

In support of the State of West Virginia, FEMA has deployed 15 teams of Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) personnel to canvass storm-damaged neighborhoods. DSA workers are equipped to register survivors with FEMA and answer their questions about disaster assistance.

The State and FEMA have opened 14 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and one Mobile Disaster Recovery Center (MDRC) in the affected area. The centers report 3,319 visitors to date. DRCs currently are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Other help available to individuals:

An easy-to-use DRC Locator is available at http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm

For those who lost work as a result of the storms, Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available. For more information, visit Work Force West Virginia at www.workforcewv.org

Free disaster legal assistance is available to West Virginia storm survivors. This service offers counseling on insurance claims, landlord-tenant issues, home-repair contracts, the replacement of legal documents destroyed by the storm and other legal matters. Call the toll-free hotline 877-331-4279.

Disaster assistance grants from FEMA are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps and several other programs. Disaster grants are just that—grants that do not have to be paid back to the government.

For more information about SBA loans, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov  or visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.  TTY users may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by visiting www.fema.gov/disaster/4273, www.twitter.com/femaregion3, www.twitter.com/FEMA, www.facebook.com/FEMA, www.fema.gov/blog and the flood information pages at http://wvflood.com/Pages/default.aspx


FEMA News Desk
(202) 646-3272