FEMA Outlines Pathways For Recovery For Flood Survivors

AUBURN –Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist Manuel Portela of Homeland Security walked Nemaha County commissioners Wednesday through the sequence for public and individual assistance through Fema.

In addition to immediate disaster dollars, he said Fema and the US Small Business Administration offer assistance to reduce disaster risk in the future.

Manuel Portela

Portela: “If, in the local jurisdiction, water pumps got flooded or a generator got flooded and they want to elevate them, now is the time under section 404 to submit a mitigation project to prepare for future disasters.”

Javier Caltenco of the Small Business Administration said loans up to $2 million are available to business in and around the flooded areas.

Caltenco: “Sometimes a business may be closed, not because they got damaged, but nobody was able to – actually they were open- but nobody was able to get there. So they could not do any business. Therefore, they can claim economic injury.

He said property owners may be eligible for assistance for damage to buildings and renters may be eligible for lost personal property.

For individual disaster survivors there are three ways for survivors to get registered:

  1. Calling the Fema help line 1-800-621-3362
  2. Website disaster assistance.gov
  3. Visit disaster recovery center


Portela expects the state to decide on Saturday if a certified Fema registration center will be established at Peru.

Javier Caltenco

Mitigation involves preventative actions like raising a house or moving out of the flood plain.

Emergency Management Director Renee Critser said she has approached the US Army Corp of Engineers for assistance with water well protections for the City of Peru.

Critser: “For help with … I don’t want to say protecting their well for future or any additional this summer, but that’s basically what it is. “

There is an increased risk of flood this summer and until levees are repaired.

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