WEST VIRGINIA EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND DISASTER RESPONSE

WEST VIRGINIA EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND DISASTER RESPONSE

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU CALL US:

DISCLAIMER

Homeless To Independence Inc. is an All-Volunteer, Faith-Based, 501©3 non-profit organization. We do NOT receive any grant funding what-so-ever to pay bills for anyone in any situation. We do not give away money. We do not give out loans against any items for money.

This ministry is supported with generous financial donations that are used to help keep us functioning. Our purpose is to help supply individuals and families with personal needs such as food, toiletries, clothing, household items, furniture and baby/adult diapers/wipes both locally and to areas effected by disasters. At this time, we do not offer any shelter or transitional housing services. Again, we DO NOT pay any bills. We DO NOT pay any rents or mortgages.

If you are actually homeless, or about to be homeless or need emergency assistance of any kind, you can:

1. DIAL “211” from a:

a. Land line telephone. Tell the receiver your situation and what you need. They will give you information specific for the physical location you are currently at plus any referrals you may need. They have the most up to the minute information for your specific area. Dialing “211” will get you help and much more info than this office can provide. Homeless to Independence wants you to have all the information you need to get through the situation you are in.

b. Cell Telephone – this will ONLY WORK if the area code of your telephone is calling “211” within the very same County you got your cell telephone in!

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not have a land-line telephone or cell telephone, go to your local police department, library, or house of worship and ask to use their land-line telephone. They may even make the call on your behalf.

2. Use the internet and go to: http://www.211.org/

***

For those of you looking for employment through-out the United States, District of Columbia or Puerto Rico, simply send me an email to:
HTI EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE 05-14

***

Homeless To Independence Inc. is not responsible for misprints or cancellations of events by the event holders, landlord and/or their agent, or ourselves. Homeless to Independence Inc. also reserves the right to “NOT” offer services to people and/or persons that are rude, unpleasant, and untruthful in any way shape or form, belligerent and the like.

OCCASIONALLY, THERE WILL BE ARTICLES BY OTHER WRITERS. HOMELESS TO INDEPENDENCE MAY NOT NECESSARILY AGREE WITH THEIR VIEWPOINTS, BUT WE DO RESPECT THEM. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!

OFFICE CONTACT INFO:

THE VERY BEST WAY TO CONTACT ME IS TO SEND ME AN EMAIL: ANN@HOMELESSTOINDEPENDENCE.ORG

OFFICE NUMBER IS: 1-732-264-7500

Please note that our office does have very limited volunteer staff and if we are one telephone line we cannot answer the other line. There is simply not enough time in the day to answer and/or return each and every telephone call.

IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, NO ONE WILL CONTACT YOU BACK.

THANK YOU!!!

***********************************************************

You are more than welcome to send in information on your on your emergency preparedness events…..
to wv@homelesstoindependence.org

Thank you!

***********************************************************

One week left for West Virginia survivors to apply to FEMA, SBA
Release date:
August 30, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-69

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – There is only one week left to apply for disaster assistance from FEMA and to submit applications for physical low-interest disaster loans to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). West Virginia survivors eligible for federal assistance, who were impacted by the June 22-29 storms, floods, landslides and mudslides, have until Wednesday, Sept. 7 to file their applications.

More than two months after President Obama signed the June 25 disaster declaration making West Virginia residents in Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers and Webster counties eligible for federal assistance, 8,791 households have applied to FEMA for help.

Storm survivors in the 12 designated counties have been approved for FEMA grants under the Individuals and Households program totaling more than $39.2 million to date, while SBA has approved 714 loans to homeowners, renters and businesses for more than $46.7 million.

Disaster assistance for individuals may include grants to help homeowners and renters with temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacement, and disaster-related needs. Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare and other federal and state programs. Grants do not have to be repaid to the federal government.

Registering with FEMA is the first step in qualifying for assistance. Sept. 7 is the last day for survivors to file an application. FEMA encourages all survivors who sustained disaster-related damage or losses to apply by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362 (TTY users should call 800-462-7585) or online at DisasterAssistance.gov. The toll-free lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

The SBA, one of FEMA’s partners in disaster recovery, offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses, homeowners and renters. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property.

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. The deadline to file an SBA physical disaster loan application is Wednesday, Sept. 7.

You are not required to accept a loan even if you qualify for one.

If SBA determines you aren’t eligible for a home loan, they will refer you back to FEMA. This could make you eligible for more FEMA aid.

If your SBA loan application is approved, you may be eligible to borrow additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples include elevating utilities, water heaters and furnaces, and installing retaining walls and sump pumps. Applicants may be eligible for an SBA loan increase, for mitigation purposes, of up to 20 percent of their physical damages.

Survivors with questions regarding their application or who have not yet registered for assistance should call the FEMA toll-free Helpline (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362. (TTY users should call 800-462-7585) or visit DisasterAssistance.gov. The lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

West Virginia homeowners and renters who have registered for disaster assistance with FEMA are encouraged by recovery officials to “stay in touch.” If survivors change their address or phone numbers they should update that information with FEMA. Missing or erroneous information could result in delays getting a home inspection or in receiving assistance.

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by visiting fema.gov/disaster/4273, twitter.com/femaregion3, twitter.com/FEMA, facebook.com/FEMA, fema.gov/blog and the flood information pages at http://wvflood.com/Pages/default.aspx.
Last Updated:
August 31, 2016 – 08:48

***********************************************************

Where to go when FEMA cannot help: Fed and state governments top list
Release date:
August 30, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV- NR-68

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — It has been just over two months since President Obama issued a major disaster declaration authorizing federal assistance for survivors of severe storms and flooding that hit southeastern West Virginia on June 22-29, 2016. The declaration, signed by the president on June 25, provides for assistance to individuals in these 12 counties: Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers, and Webster.

The deadline to register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is Wednesday, Sept. 7, but already the agency has approved nearly $40 million in grants to survivors to help them through their recovery. Disaster assistance for individuals may include grants to help homeowners and renters with temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacement, and disaster-related needs.

However, not all survivors qualify for FEMA assistance; others qualify for some aid, but for less than they need. Where can these survivors turn for help? Whom can they call? Where can they go?

It may surprise you to know that FEMA is not the only government agency that can assist you in a disaster. Many other state and federal agencies offer services that may be of help to you.

The good news is that finding and getting help from a federal or state government agency is easier than you might think.

You can get online access to scores of free programs, grants and services available to West Virginia survivors and their families. (No login or personal information required.) Working both independently and in cooperation with FEMA, nearly two dozen cabinet departments and agencies – in state and federal government – offer assistance.

Visit www.disasterassistance.gov/find-assistance , where you will be asked to answer nine simple questions about your living situation and the kind of help you need. One more click and you will be taken to a personalized list of agencies and programs specific to your needs.

Among the government entities that may be of help to you, if FEMA cannot meet all your needs, are these:

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

One of FEMA’s federal partners in disaster recovery, the SBA, offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and renters, as well as businesses of all sizes. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding and the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property.

You must first register with FEMA (before the Sept. 7 deadline) to receive an SBA disaster loan application. If you do not qualify for an SBA loan, as a homeowner or renter, you still may be eligible for assistance from FEMA. You may register with FEMA by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362 (TTY users call 800-462-7585) or online at DisasterAssistance.gov .

If your SBA loan application is approved, you may be eligible to borrow additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples include elevating utilities, water heaters and furnaces, and installing retaining walls and sump pumps. Applicants may be eligible for an SBA loan increase, for mitigation purposes, of up to 20 percent of their physical damages.

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. The deadline to file a physical disaster loan application with the SBA is Wednesday, Sept. 7.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Low-income survivors living in rural areas of West Virginia may be eligible for one of these USDA programs: rural housing loans, rural housing repair loans and grants, or rural rental housing.

Rural housing loans offer a subsidy to help reduce your mortgage payments for a short time to get you through your recovery. Your family income determines the amount of the subsidy. You may use the loan to help buy, build, repair, improve, or relocate your primary home. You may also use funds to buy and prepare sites, including water and sewer.

Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants may be used to repair, improve, or modernize your home, or remove health and safety hazards. The program’s loans are available only to individuals over 62 years of age.

Rural rental housing and cooperative housing assistance is available in nearly every county in West Virginia. You can get listings of participating housing projects in the state by visiting http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/WV .

To qualify for any of these programs, you must live in a rural area and be considered low-income or very low income. For more information about these and other USDA programs, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wv .

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Section 203(h) Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims helps survivors get a mortgage to buy a new home or rebuild their damaged one. Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance gives homebuyers and owners two options:

Buy or refinance a house and its rehabilitation costs with a single mortgage, or

Finance the rehabilitation of their existing home.

Money may be used for rehabilitation work ranging from minor repairs to total reconstruction.

To qualify for Section 203(h) Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims, you must:

Own a one-family home damaged or destroyed during the June 22-29 storms, and
Live in one of the counties qualified in the presidential declaration of June 25.

Section 203(k)-insured loans can finance:

Residential section rehabilitation of a property that also has non-residential uses.

Conversion of any size property to a one- to four-unit structure.

To qualify for Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance, you must:

Be able to make monthly mortgage payments, and

Be rehabilitating a home at least one year old.

To learn more, visit http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src= . To apply, view http://www.hud.gov/ll/code/getllst.cfm? to find an approved lender near you.

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Do not let a disaster come between you and your money.

If you get federal benefit payments by paper check, you can switch to direct deposit so your money is directly deposited into a checking or savings account on payment day each month. Direct deposit removes the risk of a delayed payment due to a disaster event. You may choose from two electronic payment options:

Direct Deposit – Your monthly payments are deposited into your checking or savings account. Learn more about direct deposit online at www.godirect.gov.

Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® – A prepaid debit card you can use to make retail purchases, pay bills, and get cash back. Your government payments are loaded onto you card each month. It is a no- or low-cost alternative to paper checks. For more information on Direct Express, visit https://fiscal.treasury.gov/GoDirect .

Disaster deductions, faster refunds and additional time to file your tax return are among special tax law provisions that may be available to you to help you recover financially from the June 22-29 storms and flooding. Depending on the circumstances, the IRS may grant additional time to file returns and pay taxes.

Both individuals and businesses in the 12 designated counties can get a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on the tax return for the previous year, usually by filing an amended return. To find out if you qualify for this program and to learn how to use it, visit https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs and type “i4684” in the search box.

Redeem savings bonds early – before the end of the 12-month holding period. If you live in one of the 12 designated counties in West Virginia, you may be able to do this. You may also be able to get faster replacement of any paper bonds lost or destroyed in a disaster. For more about this program, visit www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/redeem_disaster.htm .

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA)

The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline that offers year-round disaster crisis counseling. If you feel distressed because of the June storms and flooding, you can use this

free service. It is toll-free, multilingual, crisis support, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Helpline staff provides counseling and support, and can help you learn how to cope with common stress reactions. They can also provide information and referrals to local resources for follow-up care.

If you or someone you know is struggling to cope with the disaster, you are not alone; you can call the helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

To learn more, visit the SAMHSA website.

WorkForce West Virginia

Did the storms and flooding put you out of work? Are you looking for a job? Are you eligible for unemployment compensation? You may want to visit http://workforcewv.org .

WorkForce West Virginia is a state agency that oversees the state unemployment compensation
program and is a one-stop center for work force resources, including job opportunities and training. All its services are free and available at 13 comprehensive career centers throughout the state. (Click here for locations and hours.) In addition, WorkForce West Virginia has the state’s largest online database of job openings.

RISE West Virginia

Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin created RISE West Virginia in response to economic needs in the small business community resulting from the June storms and floods. RISE West Virginia is a state-operated, public-private mini-grant program providing assistance to small businesses that were operational before the flooding and are working to reopen while struggling with existing debt and limited capital. For more information about RISE West Virginia, visit http://wvflood.com .

More resources available to West Virginians who need help:

West Virginians seeking information about disaster-related services and unmet needs, as well as volunteering and donating, should visit the state’s Help for West Virginia Disaster website http://wvflood.com. West Virginians who wish to help with flood response and recovery may sign up with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) at www.volunteerwv.org or wvvoad.org.

Contact West Virginia 211 ( for help finding food, childcare, crisis counseling, and many other resources available in your community. If you or someone you know is struggling with post-disaster stress, you are not alone. Help is as near as your phone. Call the Help for West Virginia Helpline at 844-435-7498. Also, you can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

Survivors with questions regarding FEMA registration or who have not yet registered for assistance should call the FEMA Helpline (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362. (TTY users should call 800-462-7585) or visit DisasterAssistance.gov . The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

West Virginia homeowners and renters who have registered for disaster assistance with FEMA are encouraged by recovery officials to “stay in touch.” If survivors change their address or phone numbers they should update that information with FEMA. Missing or erroneous information could result in delays getting a home inspection or in receiving assistance.

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

Last Updated:
August 30, 2016 – 12:33

***********************************************************

Three Disaster Recovery Centers to close; help is still available
Release date:
August 26, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-67

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in White Sulphur Springs and Rainelle in Greenbrier County, and the Clendenin DRC in Kanawha County will close at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016.

The two Greenbrier County DRCs are located at:

65 West Main Street, White Sulphur Springs

1233 Kanawha Ave., Rainelle

The Kanawha County DRC is located:

Across the street from Dollar General,

120 Maywood Ave., Clendenin

As a survivor of the June storms and floods, you can still get the help you need with just a phone

call. The deadline to register for disaster assistance from FEMA is Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016.

Many of the services that were available at the DRCs are still available on the FEMA helpline. The helpline operates from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week, until further notice. By calling 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or video relay services) or 800-462-7585 for TTY users, you can use the helpline to:

Register with FEMA.

Provide a change of address, telephone and bank account numbers and insurance information.

Receive information about FEMA home inspections.

Get other questions answered about federal disaster assistance.

Ask questions about a letter from FEMA.

Learn how to appeal a FEMA decision. All applicants may appeal.

You can also register with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

If you want to discuss your application, you should have your nine-digit FEMA registration number and zip code.

For more information about the Small Business Administration (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.

SBA disaster low-interest loans are available to businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters for their recovery needs.

The deadline to apply for a physical damage disaster loan from the SBA is Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016.

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by visiting fema.gov/disaster/4273, twitter.com/femaregion3, twitter.com/FEMA and fema.gov/blog.
Last Updated:
August 26, 2016 – 09:40

***********************************************************

West Virginians receiving rental aid: Tell FEMA if you need more
Release date:
August 24, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-64

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thousands of West Virginians were displaced from their homes by the June 22-29 severe storms, floods, landslides and mudslides. FEMA gave grants to more than 2,500 households to help them pay for a temporary place to live. If your household received rental assistance from FEMA, you must let FEMA know if you have a continuing need for it.

Perhaps repairs to your home may be completed and you can move back in. If you’re seeking a new home, you may have found it. However, your home may not be ready to return to or you may not yet have found more permanent housing. If that is your situation, you can ask FEMA for additional rental assistance.

You should have received a letter explaining the process and a form to fill out and return to FEMA along with:

Utility bills from before and after the disaster.

If you are a renter, a copy of your pre-disaster lease.

For renters or homeowners, a copy of the current lease or rental agreement signed by the person who applied for FEMA assistance and the landlord.

Rental receipts, canceled checks or money orders showing that you used your rental assistance to pay rent or a security deposit.

Income statements from before and after the disaster for all wage earners living in the household.

You must complete the FEMA application to apply for continued rental assistance. FEMA evaluates the information to determine if your household has a financial need for additional assistance.

If you need more information or help with completing your application, call FEMA toll-free at
800-621-3362. The line is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week until further notice. If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

You may also find help at a State-FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. To find the one nearest to you, call the helpline, 800-621-3362, or go online to fema.gov/drc locator.

Find additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery by calling the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 or visiting: www.DisasterAssistance.gov; www.WVflood.com; fema.gov/disaster/4273; twitter.com/femaregion3; and fema.gov/blog.
Last Updated:
August 24, 2016 – 12:38

***********************************************************

Every West Virginia disaster applicant has the right to appeal
Release date:
August 23, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-63

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – If you registered for help from FEMA and got a letter (often called a “determination letter”), you may want to appeal the decision made regarding your application for federal assistance. Here are some tips to help you:

Every disaster survivor has a right to appeal. Read your letter carefully all the way through to understand FEMA’s reason for its decision. This will allow you to know exactly why to appeal. Appeals must be made in writing and sent by mail or fax to FEMA within 60 days of receiving the letter.

It’s important to submit insurance information. If your coverage is not enough to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents, FEMA can review your application. But you must provide documents from your insurance company that detail your settlement. Remember also that FEMA cannot duplicate homeowners’ or renters’ insurance benefits.

Contact your insurance company if you need settlement documents.

Prove occupancy. If you’re a homeowner or renter, FEMA can reconsider you for grants if you provide documents that prove the damaged structure was your main residence. You can prove this was your main home with utility bills, a driver’s license or a copy of your lease. You cannot receive federal disaster assistance for secondary or vacation homes.

Prove ownership. If you can prove you own the home, FEMA can reconsider you for grants to make a structure safe, sanitary and functional. Documents you can submit to prove ownership may include mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don’t have a deed handy, speak to your local or county officials about obtaining a copy.

There are many other reasons you may disagree with a decision. If you registered you should have received a booklet called “Help after a Disaster” that details how FEMA determines who’s eligible for assistance. You can also access the booklet online at www.fema.gov/help-after-disaster. The booklet lists what information you need to include when appealing.

Mail or fax appeal documents within 60 days of receiving your FEMA determination letter to the address below:

FEMA National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

Fax documents to 800-827-8112.

If you have any questions about your determination letter or any other disaster recovery issues you may always call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or video relay services) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice. Or you may:

Go online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

Visit a Disaster Recovery Center. Find the closest one by going online: www.fema.gov/drc.

West Virginia disaster survivors are reminded that the deadline to register for FEMA assistance is Wednesday, Sept 7.

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by calling the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 or visiting: www.DisasterAssistance.gov; the flood pages at wvflood.com; fema.gov/disaster/4273; twitter.com/femaregion3; and fema.gov/blog.
Last Updated:
August 23, 2016 – 13:13

***********************************************************

West Virginia survivors coping with emotional stress of storm and flooding
Release date:
August 8, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV – NR-053

CHARLESTON, W. Va.— If you are facing the loss of your home, business or a cherished possession as a result of the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that hit on June 22-29, you may find that you are struggling to cope with the emotional impact of the disaster.

Everyone who lives through a natural disaster is affected by it in some way. The experts tell us that West Virginians who lived through the storms know well the profound sadness, grief and anger it is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends. The emotional toll taken by a disaster can sometimes be even more devastating than the financial strains resulting from the damage or loss of a home, business or personal property that follows a disaster. These are normal reactions to an abnormal event.

Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster “second hand” through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected.

The important thing, the doctors say, is how you react to your feelings; what you do to relieve your stress. Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. Here are some tips from professional crisis counselors for West Virginia survivors coping with emotional stress in the wake of the storms and flooding:

Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover.

Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal.

Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress related to any natural disaster.

Children can be especially vulnerable to stress following a disaster, such as June’s severe storms and flooding in West Virginia. Preschoolers, children and teenagers may have witnessed their home being damaged or destroyed, experienced an evacuation, suffered an injury, lost a pet or even just had their normal routines interrupted. These children are susceptible to bouts of anxiety, fear and behavioral problems.

Younger children may suffer sleep problems or bedwetting. Older children may display anger, aggression or withdrawal. Some children who have had only indirect contact with the disaster, but witness it on television, may develop distress.

As parents and adults, you can make disasters less traumatic for children by taking steps to manage your own feelings and plans for coping. Parents are almost always the best source of support for children in disasters.

What’s the best way to respond to your child during or after a disaster? Click here for some pointers, including a guide to common child reactions to disaster by age.

Your older parents and other older loved ones may be just as vulnerable, if not more so, to post-disaster stress, as your children.

For more information on how caretakers can help older loved ones cope with disaster – and how caretakers should take care of themselves – visit http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/05/amy-goyer-caregiver-tips-for-tragedy/ .

If you or someone you know is struggling with post-disaster stress, you are not alone. Help is as near as your phone. Call the Help for West Virginia Helpline at 844-435-7498. Also, you can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by visiting fema.gov/disaster/4273, twitter.com/femaregion3, twitter.com/FEMA, facebook.com/FEMA, fema.gov/blog and the flood information pages at http://wvflood.com/Pages/default.aspx .
Last Updated:
August 8, 2016 – 13:09

***********************************************************

A U.S. Small Business Administration loan can be smart business
Release date:
August 5, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-52

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – If you are a disaster survivor in West Virginia you may not know you can get help from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that could lead to a smarter, faster recovery for businesses, homeowners, renters or private nonprofits.

The first step is to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Once you have done that, both FEMA and SBA encourage you to apply for a low-interest disaster SBA loan to help fund your recovery and to ensure the federal disaster recovery process continues.

An SBA low-interest disaster loan is a primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and for replacing contents destroyed in the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that occurred June 22-29.

Physical Damage Disaster Loans

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

If your SBA loan application is approved, you may be eligible to borrow additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples

include elevating utilities, water heaters and furnaces, and installing retaining walls and sump pumps. Applicants may be eligible for an SBA loan increase, for mitigation purposes, of up to 20 percent of their physical damage.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

SBA also offers a working capital loan to relieve the economic injury caused by the disaster. A disaster loan is available to eligible businesses as well as private nonprofits even if the property was not damaged by the June storms.

These loans are for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and certain private nonprofit organizations of all sizes to cover unpaid bills and lost business due to the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available in amounts up to $2 million. The total of both physical damage and economic injury loans cannot exceed $2 million.

Eligible counties for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The disaster declaration covers the counties of Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers and Webster in West Virginia, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

Eligible counties for Economic Injury Disaster Loans only

Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Lewis, Mercer, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Pendleton, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Upshur, Wayne, Wirt and Wood in West Virginia; Alleghany, Bath, Craig and Giles and Highland in Virginia; and Meigs in Ohio.

Deferred Disaster Loan payments

The first payment for a disaster loan is due five months from the date of the SBA note.

Deadlines

The deadline to apply for an SBA Physical Damage loan is Aug. 24, 2016.

The deadline to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan is March 27, 2017.

You can submit your SBA disaster loan application in one of three ways: online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/; in person at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC); or by mail. SBA has staff at all DRCs to provide one-on-one assistance to businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters in submitting their application.

Do not wait for an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. You can begin your recovery immediately with a low-interest SBA disaster loan. The loan balance will be reduced by the insurance settlement if you receive one. SBA loans may be available for losses not covered by insurance or other sources.

Remember, you don’t have to accept the loan if you qualify for one.

SBA Disaster Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) help businesses get back on their feet from damage they sustained during the storms. The BRCs are a resource where businesses can meet face-to-face with SBA representatives to learn how a low-interest disaster loan can help them recover. The BRCs are located in Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas counties. To locate a DRC or an SBA BRC, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

If you have not registered with FEMA:

You can apply by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, you should call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time seven days a week; or

You can go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov; or

You can visit a DRC.

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by calling the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 or visiting: www.DisasterAssistance.gov; the flood pages at www.WVflood.com; fema.gov/disaster/4273; twitter.com/femaregion3; and fema.gov/blog.
Last Updated:
August 5, 2016 – 09:08

***********************************************************

Free disaster legal services available
Release date:
July 27, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-044

Charleston, W.Va. — If you were affected during the June storms and have questions about legal issues such as repair contracts, working with contractors, replacing wills and other legal documents, you might be eligible to get free legal counseling from a group of West Virginia lawyers who have volunteered limited legal help.

Disaster legal Services provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or because of the disaster, have little recourse to legal services as a consequence of a major disaster.

A partnership among the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the West Virginia State Bar, and Legal Aid of West Virginia provides eligible callers 24/7 access to a toll free legal hotline, 877-331-4259. Callers may leave a message and will be matched with a local attorney.

Local legal aid providers might help you with:

Assistance with FEMA and other government benefits available
Assistance with life, medical, and property insurance claims
Help with home repair contracts and contractors
Replacement of wills and other important legal documents lost or destroyed in the disaster
Consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process
Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems
Counseling on landlord-tenant problems

There are some limitations on disaster legal services. For instance, if a case might produce a fee, or where attorneys are paid as part of a court settlement, you’ll be referred to a local lawyer.
Last Updated:
July 27, 2016 – 16:13

***********************************************************

Pets displaced by disaster need forever homes
Release date:
July 20, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-36

Charleston, W.Va. — Some pets that were separated from their human families by the flooding this past June aren’t able to return home. Their owners were displaced by the disaster and can no longer care for them. These precious four-legged friends, now in area animal shelters, are eager to find new forever homes.

The rescue of pets lost during a disaster involves a coordinated effort between state and local government and animal response groups with support from FEMA and a national animal welfare organizations, such as the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition. These and many other pet rescue groups came to West Virginia to aid displaced animals. Support has also come from businesses and individuals.

“In this event, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture was the primary point of contact that helped facilitate the establishment of three animal shelters,” said the department’s Threat Preparedness/Response Officer Roy McCallister. The department identified unmet needs and worked to get resources that met those needs, such as collapsible cages that it keeps on hand for emergencies.

To make room for the survivor animals, shelters needed help to move their pre-disaster populations out to other shelters. The Humane Society of the United States, for example, facilitated the transfer of the 62 animals that had been in the Nicholas County Animal Shelter to two shelters in upstate New York.

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of many organizations, the animals displaced in this disaster have been rescued and well cared for. Many have been reunited with their families. But the cats and dogs who can no longer go home need kind folks who can give them new forever homes.

At the Greenbrier County Humane Society and the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association combined, there are more than 30 dogs and 40 cats that were rescued and need homes. Animals at Greenbrier are available now. Those at Kanawha-Charleston become available on Saturday, July 23. One or more of them may be just right for your family!

To give a home to a disaster survivor pet, contact:

Greenbrier County Humane Society

151 Holliday Lane

Lewisburg, WV 24901

Phone: 304-645-4775

Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association

1248 Greenbrier St.

Charleston, WV 25311

Phone: 304-342-1576

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by visiting: www.DisasterAssistance.gov; the flood pages at www.WVflood.com; fema.gov/disaster/4273; twitter.com/femaregion3; and fema.gov/blog.
Last Updated:
July 21, 2016 – 07:52

***********************************************************

Text messages for West Virginians from FEMA
Release date:
July 18, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-34

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – When you register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you can choose to receive updates to your smartphone or other device via text. You will start receiving those updates soon after you complete the registration process.

The official FEMA number sending messages to your device is 43362 and all notifications will contain the last four digits of your FEMA registration number at the beginning of the message (for example, FEMA ID####).

The messages you receive will include information such as when a determination of eligibility for federal aid is made or when any type of request letter has been mailed to you asking you to provide additional information to FEMA.

If you get a text requesting more information, log into your account on DisasterAssistance.gov for more details. If you don’t follow through, it may delay the assistance process.

If you get a text saying a FEMA-contracted housing inspector was unable to contact you, call the FEMA helpline as soon as possible at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362.

If you get a text saying your case has been updated, log onto your account on DisasterAssistance.gov to view the status update. You will receive this message when a decision has been made.

If the decision states you are eligible for assistance, you may receive a message stating a payment is scheduled.

If the decision states you are ineligible for assistance, this isn’t necessarily a final decision. It may simply mean that FEMA needs more information or documentation to further evaluate your application. Read the information carefully.

If you have questions about any messages or letters you get from FEMA, call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362; or visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). You can locate the DRC closest to you by visiting http://go.usa.gov/x3NnJ.

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by visiting fema.gov/disaster/4273, twitter.com/femaregion3, twitter.com/FEMA and fema.gov/blog.
Last Updated:
July 18, 2016 – 12:50

***********************************************************

Disaster assistance is available for older adults and people with disabilities
Release date:
July 14, 2016
Release Number:
DR-4273-WV NR-31

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Older adults and people with disabilities affected by the June 22-29 severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides may be eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

It is important to register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 to find out about services that may be available.

FEMA has made it a priority to reach everyone who needs help – including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, older adults and people with limited English proficiency – to make sure all survivors’ needs are met.

Accommodating survivors

Every disaster survivor has equal access to disaster information and assistance.

All FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are physically accessible.

All DRCs offer effective communication options, including captioned phones, iPads with video remote interpreting and on-site American Sign Language interpreters upon request.

Both Braille and large print FEMA documents are available.

If you need an accommodation or assistance due to a disability, please notify FEMA staff at the time of registration or anytime during the assistance process.

If you experienced losses or damage as a result of the recent storms you have several ways to register for disaster assistance:

You can apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by telephone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, you should call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST seven days a week.

Or you can visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). You can locate the center closest to you by visiting http://go.usa.gov/x3NnJ or downloading the FEMA App to your mobile device to:
Apply for disaster assistance
Get directions to the nearest DRC
Get weather alerts
Subscribe to disaster safety tips

Will disaster assistance change my benefits?

If you receive Social Security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or Aid to Families with Dependent Children, you will not lose your benefits and they will not be cut if you receive disaster aid from the state or FEMA.

For more information on Social Security, contact the Social Security Administration by calling 800-772-1213 or by visiting www.SocialSecurity.gov.

Will I have to pay more taxes?

A FEMA grant does not add to your taxable income.

How will I know what I am eligible for?

If you live in one of the 12 West Virginia counties approved for federal Individual Assistance as a result of the storms that occurred June 22-29 you may be eligible for disaster aid.
The only way to know if you are eligible – and what you are eligible for – is to apply.

Are there any videos available?

Yes, follow these links to videos that provide information with American Sign Language and open captioning:

DRCs (ASL) http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111518

Registration (ASL) http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111546

Just ask (ASL) http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111508

FEMA assistance does not impact government benefits (ASL) http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111582

Additional information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery can be found by visiting fema.gov/disaster/4273, twitter.com/femaregion3, twitter.com/FEMA and fema.gov/blog.
Last Updated:
July 14, 2016 – 17:01

***********************************************************

Formidable Footprint – A Community / Neighborhood Exercise

Description The Formidable Footprint exercise series has been developed in accordance with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) protocols. The objective of the exercise series is for CERTs, Neighborhood Watch Programs, Neighborhood Associations, Community / Faith Based Organizations, Citizen Corps, Fire Corps and others to work as a team to become better prepared for the next disaster their community may face. There is NO CHARGE for participation in any of the Formidable Footprint exercises. For additional information or to register for up-coming exercises please access the following web site today: www.FormidableFootprint.org

This is a Virtual Event –

Contact Information (Name / Phone / Weblink) Chris Floyd / 850-241-3565 / chrisfloyd@drc-group.com

***********************************************************

WE LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING OTHERS!!

Translate »