HAZARD— Residents of Perry County who have suffered flood and storm damages to their homes in July’s severe storms and flooding are now eligible to receive disaster relief aid through Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individual Assistance program.
In a press release by FEMA, Perry, Breathitt, and Feming counties have been added to the federal disaster declaration on September 2. They join the counties of Johnson, Carter, Rowan and Trimble. This allows residents of Perry County who were affected by July’s storms and flooding to apply for aid through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program.
“We have qualified for this event, which is a good thing. I know they are a lot of our citizens here in Perry County that had some damage to their homes due to the July flooding event. This is going to be a lot of help to them.” said Jerry Stacy, Perry County’s Emergency Management Director, in an interview on last Thursday.
Stacy gave in detail about what was eligible through the Individual Assistance program.
“What is eligible is homes, not the property itself. The primary living quarters is what is eligible through FEMA’s individual assistance.” said Stacy and would go on to say, “”Basically, your home. It’s your primary residence. Any type of bridges, if it is a walk bridge, if it is a car bridge, if it is your only access to and from that home it is eligible. Even if it is a private bridge. Those are the two main things. Just damage to your yard or something along those lines, its got to be your primary residence or an only access.” he said.
The difference between public and individual assistance programs is that public assistance programs deal more with county owned facilities, county roads, and some non-profit organizations. Also, the county and state have to meet a threshold in the damage assessments before they can ask for a public assistance declaration from FEMA.
Stacy explained more on the difference between the two assistance programs.
“Individual assistance is a little bit different. There is really not a threshold from my understanding. They (FEMA) just come and do a damage assessment. They call it a joint preliminary damage assessment on all residents that had any issues, and then they let us know whether or not we quality.” he said.
Stacy wishes the county government could help the residents affected by the storm damages, but it is against the law for county government to repair damages done to private properties.
“County government, as far as I know, is that they can work on what they own, in other words like a county road and so forth, but no you can’t work on private property.” answered Stacy when asked whether county government could work on resident’s homes.
Any residents that have been affected by the July storms and floods are urged to call FEMA to apply for help at 1-800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Residents can also apply at disasterAssitance.gov.
Stacy also stated in the interview that residents of Perry County can also call him in his office at 606-439-0699 for more information.
“Yeah, they can most definitely call here. I can forward that number on, I can answer some of their questions, anything that we can do to assist people that is what we are here for. All they got to do is give me a call.” he said.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.