Fremont flooding

Volunteers form a human chain to help pile sandbags along old U.S. 275 in Fremont as floodwaters spread in mid-March.

The federal disaster declaration for Nebraska issued Thursday sets in motion Federal Emergency Management Agency programs that cover costs for responding to and recovering from the winter storm and flooding that created the need for the declaration.

FEMA has two primary programs — Individual Disaster Assistance and Public Assistance.

What is Individual Disaster Assistance?

Individual Disaster Assistance provides funds for individuals and households to recover from disasters in declared counties. Factors considered in the county declaration of individual disaster include: the concentration of damages to individuals, such as destroyed or damaged housing, the degree of trauma to the community and the level of insurance coverage.

What is covered by Individual Disaster Assistance?

The Individuals and Households Program can provide the following assistance: temporary housing, either in rental properties or a government housing unit; reimbursement for lodging expenses; and damage repair costs and home replacement not covered by insurance.

Assistance is also available for disaster-caused child care expenses, medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and damages to essential household items (room furnishing, appliances), clothing and tools required for jobs and educational materials, including computers.

Fuel, clean-up items, damage to an essential vehicle and moving and storage expenses also can be covered.

Businesses cannot receive disaster assistance. Small Business Administration low-interest loans are available for business damages.

Who is eligible for Individual Disaster Assistance?

Individual and household assistance will be available only to those who have sustained damage in the following designated counties: Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington. Additional counties are being reviewed for individual assistance and will be added as they qualify.

How do you apply for Individual Disaster Assistance?

Applications and more information on the types of available assistance are available at disasterassistance.gov.

What is Public Assistance?

Public Assistance is FEMA’s largest grant program that provides funds to assist communities responding to and recovering from disasters. Eligible applicants for the program include states, federally recognized tribal governments, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations.

What is covered by Public Assistance?

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Work eligible for public assistance includes: emergency work, including debris removal and emergency protective measures, and permanent work, including roads and bridges, water-control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities, parks, recreational and other facilities.

Which Nebraska counties are eligible for Public Assistance?

Adams, Antelope, Blaine, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherry, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Hall, Harlan, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Keya Paha, Knox, Lancaster, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Otoe, Pawnee, Pierce, Platte, Richardson, Rock, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sherman, Stanton, Thayer, Thurston, Valley, Washington, Wayne, Wheeler and York.

How does the Public Assistance grant program work?

Briefings inform potential applicants (state, local, tribal, nonprofits) of available assistance and how to apply. Applicants must file a request for Public Assistance within 30 days of the date their area was designated by the federal declaration. The federal declaration for Nebraska was declared Thursday. The 30-day application period will end April 20.

How much of the costs will be covered?

The federal share of assistance will not be less than 75 percent of the eligible costs. The recipient determines how the nonfederal share of 25 percent will be covered.

Latest Nebraska flooding photos, videos

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.


Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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