FEMA is opening its second temporary disaster center in Marshalltown this morning to continue work with the derecho recovery.

Spokesman John Mills says the drive up center will be open at 9 a.m. and stay open until 6 p.m.  He says it is right behind the Marshalltown VA clinic and they are asking people to stay in their cars the entire time as a COVID-19 precaution.

There is already a center open in Cedar Rapids. Mills says you are not required to use a drive-up center to get FEMA help. If you do go to the drive up center you will need to provide documentation to be eligible for benefits.

“You insurance information, proof of occupancy, proof that you lived in your home at the time of the disaster,” Mills says. “Most people are uploading those documents to disasterasistance.gov. But for people who need some additional assistance, whether that’s for uploading a document or register with FEMA — that’s why we are opening these disaster recovery centers.”

Mills says the documents are important so they can tailor the help to individuals.
“Everyone went through the derecho together — but everyone’s exact situation is somewhat unique — different levels of insurance coverage, different levels of damage. So that’s why we are working with people one-on-one,” according to Mills.

He says they want to be sure everyone has the opportunity to get help. “FEMA’s approved more than $3.6 million in grants. The Small Business Administration has approved more than $4 million in disaster loans — all for losses not covered by insurance,” Mills says. “So your insurance is your first line of defense. If you register with FEMA, FEMA will ask you for your insurance information and then FEMA may be able to fill some of the gaps for critical needs that insurance doesn’t cover.”

The derecho roared all across the state on August 10th and Mills says they are assessing the need for more in-person help. “In addition to the location in Marshalltown and Cedar Rapids, we are looking at the potential for a couple of other locations, including in the Davenport area,” Mills says.

Mills stresses that you can call in or register with FEMA online and going to a drive-up center is simply another option now available in the two locations.