How the Federal Disaster Declaration for Craighead County works

Updated: May. 12, 2020 at 7:30 PM CDT
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CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Over the weekend, Craighead County received the Federal Disaster Declaration, a two-part aid to help our area from the March 28 tornado but the county only received half of the request.

The federal declaration consists of two parts: public assistance and individual assistance. Craighead County only received public assistance, but no individual assistance.

Public assistance will provide help to the cities of Jonesboro and Brookland. This includes reimbursements for employees working to aid in the tornado reliefs, damage to buildings, out of pocket expenses, and more.

Individual assistance provides help to homeowners and renters.

Director of Craighead County Office of Emergency Management Anthony Coy says the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management now works to find aid for individual assistance.

The Governor’s office can give individual assistance, and the ADEM applied for help.

According to Coy, the Governor’s office applied for a federal Small Business Administration Declaration.

Coy says he’s confident the county will receive both individual assistance from the state and the SBA Declaration.

“Hopefully within the next week or so, we will get word that our state declaration for individual assistance has been approved, and they will establish the registration process,” he says.

When FEMA representatives work with organizations that qualify for Federal Disaster Declaration, they will only receive 75 percent reimbursement for their expenses.

Coy says those representatives will start working to finalize damages. With coronavirus, this will slow the process down.

He says it may take a year to have a gauge on total damages to account for all losses.

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