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Suffer damage or need help from the derecho? Here's how to apply for assistance
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AFTER THE STORM

Suffer damage or need help from the derecho? Here's how to apply for assistance

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Homeowners and renters in Scott County may now apply for federal assistance for losses and expenses resulting from the Aug. 10 derecho.

Assistance programs and services, including help with housing, personal property replacement and medical expenses, are available to individuals and business owners in Scott and Cedar counties locally, as well as Benton, Boone, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Story and Tama counties. Linn County was approved for individual assistance on Aug. 20. 

Residents in the 11 counties approved for the Individual Assistance Program may apply online at disasterassistance.gov, by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY users can call 1-800-462-7585), or by downloading the FEMA mobile app.

Available assistance can include grants for home repairs, rental assistance to pay for temporary housing for homeowners and renters, and reimbursement for lodging expense for eligible households who stayed in a hotel for a short period of time because of storm damage.

Homeowners are encouraged to contact their insurance company and file a claim for damage caused by the Aug. 10 storm, according to the Scott County Emergency Management Agency.

Homeowners do not need to wait for approval from FEMA to begin cleaning up their property but should take photographs or video of the damage and keep all receipts for repair work, according to the agency.

Homeowners with losses not covered by insurance or losses in excess of what was covered by the state of Iowa’s Individual Assistance program may be eligible for federal assistance through FEMA.

Applying for Assistance

Applicants will need to register with FEMA and the following to apply. All required documents can be uploaded at DisasterAssistance.gov:

• Address of the damaged property

• Description of disaster-caused damage and losses

• Current mailing address

• Current telephone number

• Social Security number of one member of the household

• Insurance information

• Total household annual income

• Bank account routing and account number for direct deposit

• A FEMA registration number, also known as FEMA ID number.

Home Inspections

Individuals who cannot safely stay in their home because of storm damage may need FEMA to perform an inspection.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some FEMA inspections may be conducted remotely.

For remote inspections, FEMA inspectors will contact applicants by phone to answer questions about the type and extent of damage sustained. Homeowners who suffered minimal damage will receive a letter from FEMA explaining that they may call the FEMA helpline to request an inspection if they find significant disaster-caused damage to their home after they have applied.

Employment assistance

Iowa Workforce Development is also accepting applications for individuals whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted because of the storm, including business owners and farmers.

Applications for assistance are due by Oct. 2.

To be eligible for benefits individuals:

• Must be an unemployed or self-unemployed worker whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the Aug. 10 disaster

• Must be a U.S. national or a qualified alien

• Must not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state

• Must have worked or were self-employed in, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in one of the counties listed above

• Must establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.

• Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to their place of employment as a direct result of the storm

• Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the storm

• Cannot work or perform self-employment because of closure of a facility by the federal government

Individuals will need their Social Security number; name and address of their last employer or prospective employer; proof they were employed or self-employed at the time the disaster; their most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs.

IClaims can be filed online at iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/file-claim-unemployment-insurance-benefits. Individuals can also call IWD Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843 for assistance.

Farmers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week also designated 18 Iowa counties as primary natural disaster areas, including Scott County, enabling producers who suffered storm-related losses to apply for emergency loans.

Emergency loans can be used to replace equipment or livestock, or refinance certain debts.

The deadline to apply for emergency loans is May 3, 2021.

Farm Service Agency will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability, according to a press release.

Additionally, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is making available $4 million in recovery assistance to seed cover crops, replace roofs and replace damaged high tunnel systems.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 2.

For more information on all USDA disaster assistance programs, visit farmers.gov/recover, or contact your local USDA Service Center.

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