By: Beth Sergentbsergent@heartlandpublications.com
November 1, 2012
MASON COUNTY — Individuals and businesses in Mason County who sustained losses as a result of the June derecho can now apply for reimbursement for those losses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Mason County, along with 16 additional counties, were recently approved for this individual assistance to recover losses from storm damage. In September, FEMA granted individual assistance in Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh counties. In October, FEMA approved the following additional counties to receive individual assistance: Mason, Boone, Cabell, Clay, Greenbrier, Jackson, Lincoln, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Pocahontas, Roane, Tyler, Webster and Wood. This means 20 counties have now been approved for this type of individual assistance.
Businesses and individuals who sustained losses during the June storm are asked to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or visit www.FEMA.gov. The deadline to apply for assistance is Nov. 19.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin had requested FEMA amend the previously issued federal declaration to include individual assistance. Local emergency management agencies, including in Mason County, worked with state homeland security officials to collect information from individuals who sustained losses. These losses were ultimately presented to FEMA.
Government agencies and municipalities were first declared eligible for FEMA assistance, in part because this data was more readily available and easier to collect - unlike the individual claims. The individual losses took slightly longer to collect.
Chuck Blake, director of Mason County Emergency Management, said FEMA has been placing flyers in the area to alert residents of the declaration and assistance. Blake said he urges everyone who believes they are eligible to call FEMA’s toll-free phone number before Nov. 19.