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Trump Approves State Request for Major Disaster Declaration
Missouri Ag Connection - 07/10/2019

President Donald Trump approved Missouri's request for a major disaster declaration to assist residents and businesses in 20 counties in the state affected by flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms that began April 29 and continue to impact the state.

The President's declaration makes the federal Individual Assistance program available to eligible residents in Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Miller, Osage, Pike, Platte, Pulaski, and St. Charles counties. Residents in these counties can now register for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance with temporary housing, housing repairs, and the replacement of household items.

"This is important news for Missouri families and communities that have been hit so hard by the continuing flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms this year," Governor Mike Parson said. "While Missourians have been working hard to rebuild and pull together to support one another -- as we always do -- the President's action means important federal assistance will be available to help Missouri families recover in these 20 counties. I urge them to register for FEMA assistance now. I appreciate President Trump making federal assistance available."

The state's June 24 request for a federal disaster declaration stated that Preliminary Damage Assessments examined 1,650 primary homes, of which 953 had been destroyed or sustained major damage. The assessments also showed that 125 of 251 businesses that were examined had been destroyed or sustained major damage. The assessments were conducted jointly by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local officials.

Individuals and families who sustained damage or losses due to the flooding and severe storms from April 29 and after in one of the Missouri counties included in the Individual Assistance disaster declaration can register for disaster assistance by going to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week. If you use a TTY: 1-800-462-7585. The faster people register with FEMA, the faster they may be able to receive assistance.

FEMA disaster assistance to eligible individuals generally falls into these categories:

- Housing Assistance may be available for up to 18 months for displaced homeowners or renters whose primary residences received major damage or were destroyed. Funding also can be provided for housing repairs and replacement of damaged items to make homes habitable.

- Other Needs Assistance may be available for other disaster-related expenses, including essential household items, moving and storage, vehicles, medical and dental, child care, funeral and burial, and some clean-up items not covered by insurance and other assistance programs.

- Low-Interest Disaster Loans are available after a disaster for homeowners and renters from the U.S. Small Business Administration to cover uninsured property losses. Loans may be available for repair or replacement of homes, automobiles, clothing, or other damaged personal property. Loans are also available to businesses for property loss and economic injury.

- Other Disaster Assistance Programs include crisis counseling, disaster-related unemployment assistance, disaster case management, legal advice and assistance, including income tax, housing issues, consumer protection, Social Security, and veterans' benefits.

Those affected by the flooding and severe storms are encouraged to continue to document losses, including photographing damage and retaining receipts. SEMA is working with FEMA to identify locations where FEMA will operate Disaster Recovery Centers to assist flooding survivors with answers to their questions and help with registering for assistance. However, there is no need to wait to register, and disaster survivors are encouraged to register online or by calling FEMA. The deadline for most Individual Assistance programs is 60 days after the disaster has been declared by the President.

This is the second disaster declaration for Missouri in less than two months. On May 20, President Trump approved Governor Parson's request for a major disaster declaration to help local governments and nonprofit agencies in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Holt, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Platte, Ray, and Ste. Genevieve counties. The FEMA Public Assistance disaster declaration will allow those counties to receive FEMA assistance for the repair and rebuilding of damaged roads, bridges, and other infrastructure and eligible emergency response costs due to flooding and severe storms that occurred from March 11 to April 16.

On June 24, teams began conducting joint damage assessments in 74 Missouri counties in preparation for a request for FEMA Public Assistance, which would allow local governments and qualifying nonprofit agencies to seek federal assistance for reimbursement of emergency response and recovery costs, including repair and replacement costs for damaged roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure. These assessments are expected to continue through mid-July.

On May 21, Governor Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to continuing severe weather and forecasts for tornadoes and worsening flooding due to prolonged soil inundation throughout the state. On May 23, the Governor surveyed overnight tornado damage of Jefferson City, Eldon, and Carl Junction and thanked emergency personnel for their severe weather response. On May 27, Governor Parson activated the Missouri National Guard to assist with flood fighting efforts throughout the state.

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