Correction: This story has been updated from a previous version to clarify the deadline for appealing FEMA’s decision regarding your assistance.
Southeast Michigan residents looking to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid have until Friday. The agency has already issued more than $150 million in assistance to residents in the state as of October 31, according to FEMA.
“Our goal is to make sure that we leave here with you all back on the road to recovery and that you’re far better off than you would have been had we not come to town.” –FEMA Public Affairs Specialist La-Tanga Hopes
After a storm ravaged Southeast Michigan in late June, President Biden declared a disaster emergency on July 15. Since then, FEMA has been making money available to residents in Wayne and Washtenaw counties impacted by the weather event. The funding was extended to residents of Oakland and Macomb counties in late September. Although there were multiple storms over the summer, FEMA aid is only available to people impacted by destruction caused on June 25-26.
4 Minute Listen: FEMA on aid, equity and denials.
To address issues that resulted from the storm, FEMA can provide grants to cover the costs of home repair, damaged property, relocation and more, if doing so improves the health and safety of a victim’s life. The money is meant to help cover the costs of goods or services not covered by insurance.
“Our goal is to make sure that we leave here with you all back on the road to recovery and that you’re far better off than you would have been had we not come to town,” says FEMA Public Affairs Specialist La-Tanga Hopes.
The agency has tried to make it easy for impacted residents to apply for assistance, Hopes says. Nine walk-in centers were opened up in communities hard-hit by the storm, including Detroit, Dearborn, and Dearborn Heights. Plus, language services have been available in Spanish and Arabic, Hopes says.
Individuals who applied to FEMA and got a denial letter should call the agency as soon as possible, says Hopes. She says that’s because a denial does not mean the applicant is definitely not eligible for aid.
“We’re coming back to say, ‘Explain more. Present more. We don’t understand this,’” says Hopes.
Residents who want FEMA to reconsider their application after a denial have 60 days from the date on the decision letter to hand in, mail, fax or electronically upload their appeal.