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USA: More than $4.5 million in aid approved for June Missouri flooding

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USA
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FEMA
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- State and federal officials announce that more than $4.5 million in disaster aid has been approved for Missouri residents who suffered losses and damages from the flooding that occurred between June 1 and July 18.

Recovery summary (as of the close of business August 14) for the Individual Assistance program is as follows: (includes counties of Andrew, Cass, Clark, Gentry, Greene, Holt, Johnson, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Marion, Nodaway, Pike, Ralls, St. Charles, Stone, Taney, Vernon, and Webster)

- $2.9 million has been approved to help disaster-affected Missourians with temporary housing and home repairs.

- $217,000 has been approved for the repair or replacement of personal property and disaster-related transportation, moving, and medical expenses.

- 1,360 damage inspections have been completed. Those who may be awaiting an inspector are reminded to keep their appointments to speed recovery assistance.

- $1.4 million has been approved for homeowners and businesses by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Those who may have questions about low-interest loans from SBA can call 1-800-659-2955, e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visit SBA's Web site at: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

- SBA has issued a total of 1,287 applications to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profits. It is important that these applications are completed and returned as soon as possible. Completing the SBA loan application is a crucial step in the recovery process and may determine eligibility for other types of disaster assistance.

- 1,609 individuals have applied for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) toll-free registration number at: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., until further notice. Multilingual operators are also available. Those affected by the storms can also register online at www.fema.gov. The deadline to apply for assistance is Aug. 27, 2008.

- FEMA Community Relations (CR) specialists have been working in disaster-designated counties and visiting Missourians affected by the severe storms and flooding. These CR specialists have talked or left recovery information and mitigation information with thousands of flood-stricken residents, business owners, church members, and local officials.

- Residents who are unemployed due to the severe storms and flooding that occurred between June 1 and July 18 may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) from the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. DUA is intended for those who are ineligible for benefits under a state's regular program. Funding comes from FEMA and does not come from the state employer payroll taxes used for regular unemployment benefits. The deadline to apply =97 Aug. 22, 2008 =97 is only a week away for those living or working in Andrew, Cass, Greene, Holt, Johnson, Nodaway, Stone, Taney, Vernon, and Webster.

- Those who may be feeling stressed as a result of the disaster can call the LifeRAFT Crisis line at 1-866-384-1254 to speak with a counselor who may be able help them understand their current situation and reactions, review their options, and link them with resources and agencies that can provide emotional support. In addition, counselors will canvas affected areas, place ads in newspapers, and put up flyers to notify Missouri residents about the available counseling.

- The young Lawyers Section of the Missouri Bar has established a Disaster Hotline at 1-800-829-4128 to assist people in the disaster-affected counties with basic legal questions. Disaster-related legal help may include getting information on replacing lost documents, housing/landlord/tenant disputes, mortgage foreclosure information, consumer rights, and insurance questions. When calling the hotline number, leave a message with current contact information and the call will be returned by a legal specialist.

- The FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) is available daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Those who want to check on the status of their application or change contact information can call the Helpline.

- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disaster relief information on extending tax deadlines, how to claim disaster losses, and other disaster relief information from the IRS can be found at www.irs.gov (click on storms, floods, tornadoes and other disasters and then choose Missouri). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.

- 1,226 people have visited Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to talk face to face with recovery specialists, get help filling out an SBA loan application, or check the status of their applications. The DRCs in Johnson and Greene County are closing on Saturday with the one in Lincoln County remaining open until further notice. DRC locations are as follows:

GREENE COUNTY
Greene County Imperial Plaza
2904 S. Campbell Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CLOSING AT 6 P.M. SATURDAY, AUG. 16)

JOHNSON COUNTY
Knob Noster City Hall
218 North State St.
Knob Noster, MO 65336
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CLOSING AT 6 P.M. SATURDAY, AUG. 16)

LINCOLN COUNTY
Winfield-Foley Fire Department
2663 E. Hwy 47, Winfield, MO 63389, Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon. =96 Fri., and Sat. until noon

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.