FEMA disaster recovery center opened in Monett

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Setting up work stations to meet the public, federal agency representatives opened the FEMA disaster recovery center at the new FEMA storm shelter at County Road and Hickory on Thursday. Through Saturday, staff will meet with persons affected by the December 2015 flooding. Pictured, from left, are: Timothy Clegg and Kim O'Dowd, customer service representatives for the Small Business Administration, and Barbara Edwards, disaster recovery center manager. Murray Bishoff/Cassville Democrat

Representatives stationed through Saturday to help flood victims

A disaster recovery center run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened on Thursday in Monett and will remain open through Saturday.

The office is located at the new FEMA storm shelter at County Road and Hickory in Monett. The large FEMA mobile disaster center is located in the shelter parking lot. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Saturday.

The center offers in-person support to individuals and businesses in any of the 33 Missouri counties affected by flooding on the Dec. 26, 2015, weekend, which included in the Jan. 21 federal disaster declaration. Recovery specialists from FEMA, along with representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other agencies, are present to discuss aid and assist affected persons with an application.

According to William Lindsey, external affairs and media relations for FEMA, $10 million in assistance has been doled out to 17,00 Missouri homeowners. FEMA has processed 766 flood insurance claims and paid out $29 million statewide. SBA has issued $4 million in low-interest loans to 82 homeowners, renters and businesses. Federal assistance for Missouri has totaled $43 million since the declaration was issued.

According to Nicholas Hyde, spokesman for SBA, homeowners, renters and business owners are encouraged to apply for a loan through the SBA, even if they do not seek loan money. Failure to apply for a loan shuts down the relief process, he said.

An applicant may receive a rejection for a loan, but then, the file is referred back to FEMA for other assistance. Hyde said many people have not applied to SBA, thus missing out on available aid.

Registration for assistance will be open until March 21, 60 days after the disaster declaration was issued. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to register with FEMA before visiting the disaster recovery center. Online registration is available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. People may also call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.

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