FEMA Urges Proper Use Of Funds
Application Deadline And Counties Encompassment Also Extended
JEFFERSON CITY – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) directors remind those who obtain a grant through that agency that disaster assistance grants given to Missouri survivors of the April 28 to May 11, 2017, severe storms and flooding must be used only for approved disaster-related expenses.
The deadline to apply for federal assistance from FEMA has been extended two weeks and is now Aug. 14.
In addition, FEMA has added eight counties at Gov. Eric Greitens request to those previously covered. The new counties are: Christian, Crawford, Dent, Greene, Iron, Ste. Genevieve, Wayne and Wright counties.
Missourians are reminded that disaster grants should not be used for regular living expenses, such as utilities, food, medical or dental bills not related to the disaster or for travel, entertainment or any discretionary expense not related to the disaster.
Federal law prohibits duplicating federal grants from other sources. FEMA encourages survivors to keep their receipts for three years to show how the funds were spent.
When a grant is awarded, FEMA will send applicants a letter listing approved uses including:
• Home repairs (e.g., structure, water, septic and sewage systems).
Rental assistance for a different place to live temporarily.
• Repair or replacement of a flooded essential vehicle.
• Medical care for an injury caused by the disaster.
• Repair, cleaning or replacement of clothing, specialized tools.
• Necessary educational materials (e.g., computers, school books, supplies).
• Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster. Other disaster-related expenses.
Survivors of the flood may spend the FEMA grant in ways that may help them achieve the goal of permanent, safe, sanitary and functional housing.
• Rental assistance grants are provided for temporary housing when a disaster leaves a survivor’s home uninhabitable or inaccessible.
• Homeowners and renters can choose to rent an apartment, house, mobile home or some other temporary rental unit.
• If survivors intend to seek continued rental assistance, they will need receipts to show they used the grant for rent.
If survivors have any questions, they may call the FEMA Helpline, 800-621-3362. Having the nine-digit FEMA registration number and ZIP code of the affected property will be useful when calling the Helpline.
The FEMA Helpline can help survivors:
• Register with FEMA.
• Provide a change of address, telephone and bank account numbers and insurance information to avoid disaster assistance processing delays.
• Obtain information about FEMA home inspections.
• Get other questions answered about federal disaster assistance.
• Get questions answered about letters from FEMA.
• Learn how to appeal a FEMA decision.
Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800- 621-3362.
If 711 is unavailable, please use MO Relay 800-735-2966; CapTel 877-242-2823; Speech to Speech 877-735-7877; VCO 800-735-0135.
Those who use TTY may call FEMA directly at 800-462- 7585. Multilingual registration assistance is available. Operators will be available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST seven days a week until further notice.