Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Flood of 2010

November 16, 2010

Local resources key to meeting Iowa disaster survivor's remaining needs

WEST DES MOINES — Volunteers, faith-based organizations, local, state, and federal officials continue to meet the ongoing needs of the survivors of this summer’s severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding.  

Sixteen long-term recovery committees are active across the state, and more are being organized, according to the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

These local groups may help meet survivors’ unmet needs beyond the legal capacity of federal resources after all other available assistance has been exhausted.

“The amount and type of government assistance from FEMA and others is limited by law,” said FEMA’s Tom Hall, federal coordinating officer. “The job of helping households to fully recover cannot be accomplished without long-term community support.”

The IDHRC is comprised of approximately 75 faith-based, voluntary and other community groups. Their coordinated efforts raise funds to provide comfort, guidance, volunteer efforts, and financial assistance.

“Fully recovering from a disaster is a long-term process,” said Marvin Shultz, grant coordinating officer with the Iowa Department of Human Services. “It’s very gratifying that so many Iowans have stepped forward to help their neighbors long after the floodwaters have receded.”

Individuals who have exhausted all resources and have remaining needs related to the 2010 summer disaster recovery are urged to call their county emergency manager; the Iowa Concerns Hotline at (800) 447-1085; the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service; or the IDHRC at (515) 323-4210.

The deadline to register for federal disaster assistance was Nov. 12.  To date, more than 13,000 individuals have registered for federal assistance in the declared counties and more than $25 million has been approved through FEMA’s individual and households program. There have been 5,597 visitors to the 19 Disaster Recovery Centers that were open throughout Iowa.  The U.S. Small Business Administration  has approved more than $14 million in low-interest disaster loans to help Iowa residents and business owners in their recovery.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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