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Disaster Assistance Tops $1 Million for West Virginia Survivors

CHARLESTON, W.Va – Less than two weeks after President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration for West Virginia, more than $1 million has been approved for homeowners and renters affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding, landslides and mudslides of April 2-6, 2024.  

That total includes more than $675 thousandin housing assistance, to help homeowners and renters with expenses such as temporary housing and essential home repairs. Additionally, more than $417 thousandhas been approved for other needs assistance, which covers expenses such as transportation, childcare and medical and dental costs. More than 756 households and businesses have registered with FEMA to date.

“FEMA is pleased and proud to be able to help West Virginians recover from the devastation of those early April storms,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Jeff Jones. “We’re especially pleased to see how the updates to the Individual Assistance program have helped more people get funding they need in a faster and easier way.”

To date, five housing inspectors have completed more than 300inspections of disaster-damaged properties to verify damage.

Federal disaster assistance is available to residents of 11 counties: Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, Marshall, Nicholas, Ohio, Putnam, Wayne and Wetzel.

  • The State and FEMA have opened two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Kanawha and Nicholas counties, with Putnam and Wetzel counties scheduled to open this week, and more opening soon. The centers report 114 visitors to date. The DRCs are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The centers and addresses are below:
Kanawah County Disaster Recovery Center
Tyler Mountain Fire Department5380 Big Tyler RoadCharleston, WV 25313Hours of operation:Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: The Kanawha County DRC site will be open through Saturday, June 8. Future sites serving Kanawha County will be announced weekly as the locations are established.

Nicholas County Disaster Recovery Center
Nicholas County Office of Emergency Management449 Water StreetSummersville, WV 26651 Hours of operation:Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Survivors do not have to visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to register with FEMA. If it is not possible to visit a DRC, call 800-621- FEMA (3362). The toll-free telephone line operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

The fastest and easiest way to apply for assistance is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov

In support of the State of West Virginia, FEMA has deployed six Disaster Survivor Assistance teams to canvass shelters and visit storm-damaged homes in hard-hit areas to register people and answer their questions about disaster assistance.

Other help available to individuals:

  • Additional Disaster Recovery Centers will be opening in impacted counties. Visit the FEMA DRC Locator page for more details on open centers in West Virginia.
  • For those who lost work as a result of the storms, Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available. For more information, visit Work Force West Virginia at workforcewv.org

Disaster assistance grants from FEMA are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps and several other programs. Disaster grants are just that—grants that do not have to be paid back to the government.

One of FEMA’s federal partners in disaster recovery, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and private non-profit organizations. 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. Applicants may also apply online via SBA’s secure website at http://www.sba.gov/disaster. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

For more information on West Virginia’s disaster recovery, visit emd.wv.gov, West Virginia Emergency Management Division Facebook page, www.fema.gov/disaster/4783 and www.facebook.com/FEMA.