FEMA opens disaster centers in St. Marys, Russells Point in wake of tornadoes

WAPAKONETA — As FEMA is opening disaster recovery centers across parts of Ohio affected by the March 14 tornadoes, the agency is reporting that it has already made significant monetary investments in the region to help families in their recovery efforts.

FEMA opened two recovery centers Monday, one at the Fairbanks Center at Cross Oak Camp and Retreat Center, 272 Jack Oak Point Road, St. Marys, and the other at Galilee Lutheran Church, 301 Lincoln Blvd., Russells Point. Specialists from both FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be at the recovery centers to help affected residents apply for disaster assistance and answer questions.

FEMA also announced that after just one week after the federal disaster declaration for the region, the agency has distributed more than $1 million in recovery assistance. The funds have been distributed among nearly 100 applicants over 11 affected counties in the state, aiding in serious needs like paying for temporary housing, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance. These funds are distributed as grants and do not need to be repaid.

“FEMA’s individual assistance program is designed to provide much-needed relief to people after a disaster and help them jumpstart their recovery as quickly as possible,” FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Toney Raines said in a statement. “This milestone is just the start of FEMA’s commitment to making sure Ohio survivors have the resources they need to recover in a meaningful way.”

Anyone interested in applying for disaster relief can go to bit.ly/44ElFDI.