After floodwaters subside or raging winds of a natural disaster stop, small businesses turn to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to figure out a road to recovery.
The process to prove eligibility for federal aid can be overwhelming.
Business owners need to know what steps they must take in order to get the necessary financial resources to recover. Complicated questions surface as to why one business may be eligible while another is not.
FEMA and Ashbritt Environmental encourage disaster victims to maintain all documentation of costs incurred because of a disaster. If federal aid is released, it will be given out on an individual basis.
FEMA conducts evaluations of damages and releases funds first to victims in the most need. To be eligible for federal aid, the area would have to be declared a disaster by the President.
State officials must prove the damages are so extensive that private insurance companies and nonprofit and local agencies cannot cover the costs. At this point, FEMA becomes the last resort for aid.
FEMA spokesman Gene Romano said grants are meant to make a structure “safe, secure and sanitary”.
Funds are meant to go towards general cleanup, medical bills and other necessities relating to the disaster.
Ashbritt believes that the first response to a disaster is the responsibility of local governments. Cities and counties know that successful recovery from a disaster is dependent on the emergency plans that are put in place before a catastrophic event takes place.
These emergency plans can ensure that financial aid is allocated as quickly and efficiently as possible.
AshBritt Environmental is a national rapid-response disaster recovery and special environmental services contractor. For more information, visit www.ashbritt.com.