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FEMA News Release: Commuting Cost Assistance Available For Eligible SR530 Slide Survivors

 


April 21, 2014

NR 005 DR-4168-WA

SR530 Slide News Desk: 360-536-6358

News Release

Commuting Cost Assistance Available For Eligible SR530 Slide Survivors

EVERETT, Wash. – Commuting cost assistance is now available to eligible survivors of the March 22, 2014 SR530 Slide who are faced with long detours around the closed roadway between Arlington/Oso and Darrington.

As a result of the slide, SR530 remains impassible and the use of alternate routes has significantly increased the residents’ commuting distance and cost.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program’s ‘Other Needs Assistance (ONA)’ provision will help with the increased cost of commuting. Applicants whose essential commute required travel on SR530 and who are now traveling more than 25 miles one way around the closed portion of SR530, may be eligible. Essential trips include recurring travel for work, school, or recurring medical appointments.

“This program is the first-of-its-kind for Washington disaster response,” said Kurt Hardin, state coordinating officer for the SR530 Slide disaster. “We believe it will provide significant aid to Darrington-area residents who face lengthy commutes to job sites as a result of the SR530 Slide. For those eligible for this new program,” he added, “eligibility is back-dated to March 22.”

Applicants are required to meet FEMA’s eligibility criteria in order to be considered for increased commute cost assistance. Self-employed individuals and small business owners incurring additional business costs due to the increased commute should apply to the Small Business Administration for any economic impact or damage their business received as a result of the slide.

To request commute cost assistance, applicants must first be registered with FEMA. Once registered, applicants will receive a Request for Information (RFI) letter asking for names of individuals in the household who have increased commute times; the number of days per week each individual regularly commutes to work, school, or recurring medical appointments; and how many additional miles over 25 one way their daily commute has increased.

This program is one example of continuing disaster partnerships between federal and state agencies. Nonprofit groups and voluntary agencies’ response, in light of this situation, has been tremendous. The American Red Cross has been providing financial assistance to help with transportation, utilities, and other disaster-related needs. Community Transit now operates Route 231, an emergency bus route, between Darrington and Everett until further notice. For more information on this route, visit http://www.communitytransit.org/darrington.

“We are working closely with local, state and tribal partners to ensure that all survivors receive the assistance for which they are eligible,” according to FEMA’s Individual Assistance Branch Director Christy Grant. “This assistance will help those impacted by this historic event as they continue in recovery.”

Local, tribal, state, and federal partners will continue working together as long-term recovery continues.

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Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800 621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800 462-7585; for VRS call (800) 621-3362.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary and http://www.youtube.com/fema; Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fema and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fema.

The Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division is responsible for administering federal disaster recovery programs on behalf of the state. The Department’s mission is to minimize the impact of emergencies and disasters on people, property, environment, and the economy of Washington State; provide trained and ready forces for state and federal missions; and provide structured alternative education opportunities for at-risk youth.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants can go to http://www.sba.gov/disaster or call (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1(800)977-8339).

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