A spokesman with Iowa’s Emergency Management Division says there’s some confusion in some of the counties about the types of emergency aid that’s available following the snow and ice storm. Spokesman Bret Voorhees says one source of confusion is the rumor that aid is available to help people buy generators.
Voorhees says emergency management is working to establish shelters and will continue offering shelters and warming stations. “There is not a state or federal program in place now to reimburse people for generators,” Voorhees says, “there’s a rumor that says that is the case, unfortunately, that is not the case”
Voorhees says the generators have become especially important to people in rural areas who’re still without power. He says they’re working closely with the utilities and co-ops to get the power back, and now they’re working with individual customers. Voorhees says for some people in southern Iowa it could be three to five days before they get the power back. The governor has declared 22 counties state disaster areas, which Voorhees says has also caused some confusion.
Voorhees says the proclamation allows state resources to be used at no expense to communities, but Voorhees says some people think the state declaration triggers the Federal Emergency Management programs, but it does not. Voorhees says the state has to apply for the FEMA assistance.
Voorhees says they will send out damage assessment teams early next week to gather information to ask for a federal disaster declaration. Voorhees says there is a program that will reimburse you for some of the expenses of a disaster like the ice storm. You can find out more about that program by visiting the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division’s website , or by calling the division.