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FEMA Assistance

FEMA made a disaster declaration for the flooding, severe storm, and tornado incident period September 9 – 26, 2019. 

Individual Assistance (IA) Registration Information – DEADLINE TO APPLY EXTENDED

  • The deadline to apply (via phone or website) for IA has been extended to Friday, January 31, 2020.
    • Federal disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, clean up expense, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
  • Individual Assistance (IA) includes assistance to individuals and households located in the following counties:
    • Brookings, Charles Mix, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody, and Yankton Counties and the Flandreau Santee Indian Reservation and the Yankton Indian Reservation.
  • How to register for Individual Assistance? 
    • Citizens affected by the disaster can begin registering now for Individual Assistance (IA). Assistance will be approved or denied on an individual basis. There is no penalty for being denied for a assistance, so citizens are highly encouraged to register even if they don’t feel their damages are enough. Types of assistance that can be provided: home repair, rental assistance if displaced, personal property loss, child care costs, medical bills, funeral bills, and vehicle damage.
    • Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) will be in the affected areas in the next few weeks. This way, citizens can speak with Federal and State representatives face to face and ask any questions they have. Information on these will be shared as soon as the details are finalized. 

FEMA Mitigation and Flood Insurance Specialists – Repair, Rebuilding Advice Available

  • FEMA mitigation and flood insurance specialists will be on hand to answer questions and provide home improvement tips for both do-it-yourself homeowners and general contractors. Recovery topics will  include flood insurance, elevating utilities and rebuilding flooded homes. They also will have information on building structures that are more hazard-resistant, with proven methods to prevent or reduce damage from future disasters.
    •  Sioux Falls – Menards, East
      • 110 N. Highline Avenue, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
        • Monday, January 27 – Saturday, February 1
          • 8:00am – 6:00pm, Monday – Friday, and 8:00am – 5:00pm, Saturday.
    • Yankton – Menards
      • 3210 Broadway Avenue, Yankton, South Dakota
        • Monday, January 27 – Saturday, February 1
          • 8:00am – 6:00pm, Monday – Friday, and 8:00am – 5:00pm, Saturday.
    •  More mitigation events will be held at home improvement stores in southeast South Dakota in the coming weeks.

Small Business Assistance Due to Tornadoes / Flooding

The deadline to apply for assistance has been extended to Friday, January 31. 
Visit the Small Business Administration at 2329 N. Career Avenue, Suite 105, Sioux Falls, SD 57107 
Open 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday

Your Right to Appeal

  • If you received a letter from FEMA saying you are not eligible for federal disaster assistance, you may wonder what happened. The letter will explain why the decision was made. Missing documentation and not enough damage to essential living space are among the most common reasons one can initially be found ineligible.
    Examples of missing documentation may include an insurance settlement letter, proof of residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property or proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.
  • The goal of FEMA housing assistance is to ensure people live in safe, sanitary and functional housing. FEMA assistance is not insurance. Your home may have suffered storm damage, but if it did not affect essential living space, you may not be determined eligible for assistance. FEMA considers the kitchen, bathrooms and occupied bedrooms as essential living spaces.
  • If you think an error was made regarding your case, you have the right to appeal. The appeal must be in writing and include new information or documentation. Start the process and get assistance with your appeal letter by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY: 800-462-7585. Lines are open daily from 7:00am – 11:00pm. Help is available in most languages.
  • Mail your appeal letter to:
    • FEMA – Individuals & Households Program National Processing Service Center
    • PO Box 10055
    • Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  • Or you may fax it to:
    • 800-827-8112
    • Attention: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program
  • FEMA will send a written response to your appeal within 90 days.
  • Information taken from a news release from FEMA on December 20, 2019. 
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