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FEMA assistance underused

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is accepting assistance applications from Nevada County residents, although many of those eligible may not be aware of the opportunity.

Nevada City City Manager Mark Miller delivered an update regarding the issue at Monday night’s City Council meeting, with one official commenting he thought FEMA was “not getting the response they were hoping for.”

“We’re beginning to have success finding those people,” said Elaine Ike, FEMA Representative, regarding reaching out to Nevada County residents who haven’t applied for assistance for damages caused by storms that occurred between Dec. 17, 2005 and Jan. 3, 2006.



Ike said some of the difficulty has arisen because two months after the severe weather, “people have experienced the storm and they’ve moved on.” Ike said she was distributing fliers and “working through pastors to get the word out to the community,” adding many of those who haven’t applied yet may be Spanish speakers in the Lake Tahoe region.

Nevada County residents were made eligible for assistance Feb. 23. As of March 10, 37 households from the area have applied, according to Lynne Carrier, a public information officer with FEMA. The application deadline is April 4.




In order to qualify, individuals must call 1-800-621-FEMA and meet certain requirements, such as living primarily in the affected residence and going without any “duplicate benefits” from a private insurance company. Businesses are also eligible for assistance.

• “Everything is quiet and under control,” Nevada City Fire Chief Sam Goodspeed said regarding the lack of problems with the current weather. Goodspeed said a severe storm watch would be in effect until midnight tonight.

• The council proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month, with the last week as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. March was proclaimed Women’s History Month. Rod Gillespie, project coordinator for the Victim/Wellness Assistance Center, informed the meeting of a candlelight vigil and a wall of remembrance planned for Sexual Awareness Month and National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.


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