Assistance to Georgians Tops $65M to Help Recovery Efforts

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Three months after Hurricane Irma, recovery efforts continue across Georgia. With the help of the State of Georgia, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, individuals, households, businesses and communities have received more than $65 million in assistance.

Federal programs include FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, the National Flood Insurance Program, and low-interest disaster loans from the SBA.

All disaster recovery statistics for Hurricane Irma are current as of Dec. 12, 2017 for the counties of Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh.

  • $45.5 million in insurance claims paid to NFIP policyholders.

  • More than $15.1 million in low-interest disaster loans approved by the SBA.

  • Nearly $12.6 million in Individual Assistance grants;

    • More than $9.2 million in housing assistance including temporary housing, home repairs, and personal property losses.

    • Nearly $3.4 million in other needs assistance including dental, medical, and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance.

      • More than 44,000 individuals or households in counties designated for Individual Assistance contacted FEMA for assistance or information on recovery programs during the 60-day registration period.

      • 5,903 visits were made to eight Disaster Recovery Centers.

      • 14,718 housing inspections were completed.  

  • $24,242 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance awarded.

Volunteer organizations and places of worship also provided much needed services to assist in the recovery effort. The Salvation Army prepared food for survivors and The American Red Cross assisted in coordinating sheltering services for displaced individuals and households. First United Methodist Church of Douglas is assisting with roofing repairs in Coffee County following the removal of trees by the Southeast Baptist Association. The Georgia Baptists were identified to assist on Sapelo Island in the event housing repairs were needed and the United Methodist Committee on Relief will be hosting a disaster case management training session. 

The disaster also saw the formation or reactivation of several county Long Term Recovery Committees and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster coalitions in Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty and Long counties. In Statesboro, members of the Bulloch VOAD, formed a committee following Hurricane Matthew and were prepared to respond in the event Irma hit the county. With relatively little damage, they brought their food supplies and cooking trailer to Glynn and Camden counties to distribute food and hot meals to disaster survivors.

In addition to assistance to individuals, households and businesses, $585,000 in federal funding has been approved for state agencies, local government jurisdictions and eligible private non-profit organizations in counties designated for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. As further projects are approved this amount will continue to grow. A total of 479 eligible applicants have been identified with an initial projection of 1,400 projects and an estimated federal cost share of approximately $69 million.

All 159 counties in Georgia were approved for grants to help pay for emergency work while 137 counties were also approved for permanent work funding. Public Assistance grant monies are provided to help communities pay for 75 percent of the costs incurred for disaster cleanup or emergency actions taken to protect lives or property – called emergency work – and for the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged infrastructure, known as permanent work.

To help communities reduce the risk of damage from future disasters, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding is available for approved mitigation projects statewide on a cost-share basis.  The HMGP is administered by the State of Georgia and helps communities pay for mitigation measures that may reduce or prevent damage to people and property from future natural disasters. The total cost to implement approved mitigation activities is generally funded by a combination of federal and non-federal sources. FEMA provides 75 percent of eligible costs while the state and/or local governments or agencies are responsible for the remaining 25 percent.