Low-income Iowans affected by the late February and early March snowstorms can now apply for state grants to replace their losses from the storms, under legislation signed late last week by Governor Chet Culver. Dean Cushman with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Urbandale says the grants are earmarked for specific recovery costs are covered by the grants.
He says one category is food lost to spoilage from lack of electricity, costs to reconnect electric wires to the home, or damage to a car from sliding off the road in the snow. Two weeks ago FEMA announced some federal grants would be coming to local and state governments, and certain non-profit organizations.
Cushman says a total of one-million dollars is available to individual Iowans whose annual income is lower than 130-percent of federal poverty guidelines. For a family of four, that’s $26,84. He says folks should call to talk with operators at the agency, who can tell them whether or not they’re eligible. The money is aimed at helping the low-income Iowans make their homes safe and sanitary once again, to restore power, replace damaged appliances or lost food, and even for a motel room if someone had to leave their home for a time.
To check it out or ask for an application form, call 1-866-434-4692, or check the Department of Human Services website. The advantage of going on-line, he says, is that computer users can download the application form without waiting — important since the deadline is April 20th. Getting in an application early can also speed the arrival of the emergency-recovery money, up to about $3,300 a person. Cushman says applicants can turn in the forms at their local county Emergency Management Coordinator’s office.