Tornado Assistance Deadline Approaches | News


The deadline for victims of the Dec. 10 and 11 tornadoes to apply for federal assistance is Feb. 14. Those who could benefit from federal assistance to repair damaged buildings and other tornado-related needs who have not requested the assistance should apply.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration have been in western Kentucky shortly after tornadoes swept through the area on the night of Dec. 10, educating victims about the financial assistance available to them to repair or replace property and business.

On Sunday, the SBA approved $47.2 million in disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses, while FEMA approved $14.1 million in personal and household relief, including $10.2 million for housing assistance and $3.9 million for other disaster-related needs.

FEMA also provided $2 million in rental assistance to more than 1,500 survivors.

The best way for people to apply for federal assistance is through disaster recovery centers set up throughout the region, including the one at the Mayfield Mall at 1102 Paris Road in Mayfield, which was recently moved from the Graves County Library or SBA Business. Recovery Center at the Joe Creason Community Center at 1600 Park Ave. in Benton.

SBA public affairs specialist Sally Graham and FEMA media relations specialist La-Tanga Hopes said anyone whose property was damaged in December’s tornadoes should ask for help. help before the deadline, even if she thinks she won’t get it.

“It’s been a challenge dispelling some of the myths,” Graham said. “I still find people who think you have to get turned down by a private bank first before you apply for low-interest, long-term repossession assistance from the SBA.

“It is not. Disaster loans are direct from the US Treasury through the SBA to the disaster survivor, so there are no outside banks involved.

Graham said she was speaking with a church that was involved in immediate disaster needs and is now stopping to bring in a contractor because of some ceiling leaks.

“He said the church had no damage, but the contractor told him there was debris on their roof, with a hole or two,” she said. “I advised him to go to the Mayfield Disaster Recovery Center while (agency reps) are still there, and we could just go through the application.

“A lot of people think that maybe in their eyes the damage to their home or business is not that big compared to businesses where there is nothing left. I was asked if there was a threshold: “Do I have to take that much damage before the SBA helps me?” and that is not the case either.

Hopes said survivors filling out an appeal letter should know that services will continue even after the deadline, so the appeal process is not interrupted.

“Remember, you’re working for eligibility,” she said. “Explain in your letter why your home is safer, sanitary or functional.”

FEMA and the SBA worked together to help survivors and their homes and businesses recover from December’s tornadoes. Both agencies have representatives at disaster recovery centers.

“If this is your first time filing an application and you are asked to visit the Small Business Administration, please do so,” Hopes said. “By walking away or ending the process, you could potentially leave FEMA grant money that may be awarded to you later on the table.”

In addition to temporary housing, FEMA may assist eligible applicants with housing construction, disaster-related medical and dental expenses, clothing and household items, the provision of heating fuels, moving and storage, child care and basic needs.

FEMA is also looking to fill temporary positions for renewable 120-day periods. Kentuckians interested in applying for these positions can go to to learn more and submit their applications.

Salaries range from $16.12 per hour to $45.24 per hour. Detailed information is provided for each position, including salary and benefits.

These job postings will close on Monday or when the agency has received 200 applications, whichever comes first. Candidates may be contacted by email, phone or mail regarding the interview, hiring and selection process.

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