FEMA experts talk federal assistance options with St. Joseph County residents

NOW: FEMA experts talk federal assistance options with St. Joseph County residents

FEMA experts were back in St. Joseph County Wednesday after February’s flooding affected thousands of homeowners and this time they’re here to make sure residents are getting the help they need in applying for assistance.

Back in March, EMA and FEMA officials teamed up and walked door-to-door on hundreds of homes telling residents how critical it is that you apply for federal assistance for the county to get help. Now they’re making it to neighbors have no excuses.

“Flood recovery assistance is here and available for them and we want folks to register with FEMA as soon as possible,” said William Lindsey with FEMA.

Almost 4 months later, the devastating floods that affected thousands of homes across the county is still a topic to be tackled. FEMA assistance experts and the Small Business Administration helped local residents navigate the steps to apply for federal disaster assistance.

“After the Governor and the state and the county did their recovery disaster assessments we still see there’s a need for assistance here,” said Lindsey.

Back in March, we told you Governor Eric Holcomb requested FEMA visit the county to collect data on homes affected especially after hundreds of residents still hadn’t called to report flood damage. Wednesday, experts gave information, answered questions, and walked homeowners through the process to register.

“FEMA will help you with certain things like your pump in the basement but they won’t help you repair your basement, so that’s where SBA comes in,” said Karen Knapik, Small Business Administration.

They say it’s critical to register as soon as possible if you’ve sustained any damages, even if you’ve begun that recovery process elsewhere.

“We know a lot of folks don’t have the receipts, it’s been a long time, but you can itemize what your losses were and let us know and we will work with you.” said Lindsey.

“We’re the ones to get you back to where you were before the disaster,” said Knapik.

Just like we mentioned in March, even in you think you can fix flood damage yourself,  these applications for assistance help the community as a whole. FEMA officials will take this information, pass along a formal disaster declaration request to the governor, and ask for federal assistance from the president, but it all depends on the numbers. The deadline for all federal assistance applications is July 5th.

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