President Donald Trump approved Missouri's request Tuesday for a major disaster declaration for 20 counties impacted by flooding, tornadoes and severe storms since late April, allowing residents in those counties to register for federal disaster assistance.
The declaration makes the federal Individual Assistance Program available to eligible residents in Cole, Boone, Miller, Osage, Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Greene, Holt, Jackson, Jasper, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Pike, Platte, Pulaski and St. Charles counties.
"This is important news for Missouri families and communities that have been hit so hard by the continuing flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms this year," Gov. Mike Parson said in a Tuesday news release. "While Missourians have been working hard to rebuild and pull together to support one another — as we always do — the president's action means important federal assistance will be available to help Missouri families recover in these 20 counties."
Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance for eligible individuals could include housing assistance, various loans, disaster programs like crisis counseling and disaster-related unemployment assistance, and funding for disaster-related expenses like essential household items, storage, vehicles, medical, child care, funeral and burial, among other items.
Those located in one of the 20 impacted counties and who sustained damage or losses due to flooding and severe storms since April 29 can register for disaster assistance by going to DisasterAssistance.gov or calling FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-3362, between 7 a.m.-10 p.m. any day of the week. Those who use a TTY should call 1-800-462-7585.
"The faster people register with FEMA, the faster they may be able to receive assistance," the news release states.
The State Emergency Management Agency and FEMA are identifying locations where FEMA will operate Disaster Recovery Centers to assist those impacted by flooding, according to the news release.
The deadline for most Individual Assistance programs is 60 days after the president declares a disaster.
Preliminary Damage Assessments — conducted by SEMA, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local officials — indicate 953 of 1,650 primary homes and 125 of 251 businesses had been destroyed or sustained major damage, according to the state's June 24 request for a federal disaster declaration.
Since June 24, teams have been conducting damage assessments in 74 Missouri counties in preparation for FEMA Public Assistance and these assessments will most likely continue through mid-July, the news release states.
FEMA Public Assistance would "allow local governments and qualifying nonprofit agencies to seek federal assistance for reimbursement of emergency response and recovery costs, including repair and replacement costs for damaged roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure," the news release states.
Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri on May 21 following continuous severe weather and flooding. One day later, tornadoes struck Jefferson City, Eldon and Carl Junction.
This is the second disaster declaration Trump has issued for Missouri in less than two months. Trump approved Parson's request for a major disaster declaration May 20, which helped local governments and nonprofits in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Carroll, Chariton, Holt, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Platte, Ray, and Ste. Genevieve counties.
The May 20 major disaster declaration allows those counties to receive FEMA assistance to help repair and rebuild damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure. It will also help with eligible emergency response costs due to flooding and severe storms from March 11 to April 16.
Individuals impacted by flooding and severe storms should continue to document losses, the news release states.