The path of the August 10th derecho that swept across central Iowa left a long line of devastation. While much of the attention has been on the heavy damage in Cedar Rapids, many other towns and cities were also severely affected. The wheels turn slowly sometimes when it comes to government assistance, now, nearly a month later, more help is available.

In a news release, FEMA officials stated that homeowners and renters in Benton, Marshall and Tama counties, along with Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, and Story counties may now apply for FEMA Individual Assistance for losses resulting from the severe storms on Aug. 10, 2020. Linn County was previously approved for individual assistance.

Assistance provided by FEMA for homeowners can include grants for repairs, rental assistance, and lodging expense reimbursement. FEMA assistance can also help with other disaster-related needs like replacing essential household items, and medical and dental expenses. Keep in mind, businesses, homeowners and renters may be eligible for disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Applicants will need the following to apply. You can upload all required documents at
• Address of the damaged property
• Description of disaster-caused damage and losses
• Current mailing address
• Current telephone number
• Social Security number of one member of the household
• Insurance information
• Total household annual income
• Bank account routing and account number for direct deposit
• Save your FEMA registration number, also known as FEMA ID number.
• Check your account for updates.

If you have losses not covered by insurance, contact FEMA by either going online to or by calling the helpline at 800-621-3362. The toll free number operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.

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