BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Wednesday, damage assessment teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) joined representatives from organizations like the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) as well as local law enforcement teams to tour areas damaged by the Memorial Day tornado outbreak.
Four teams spread out across the state to observe damage to homes, apartments and other property. The groups will assess areas in 10 counties over the course of three days.
In Beavercreek 20-year-resident, John Davis, shared what he thought of the damage teams’ work.
“I’m hoping that they declare the area a disaster and pay us to move out of here,” said Davis.
And in the area, there are plenty of others sharing the same hopes after their homes and property were destroyed.
Media relations specialist with FEMA, Leo Skinner, explains that the process.
“Right now, all we’re doing is assessments of damage. There’s been no declaration, no decision made on whether there will be a federal declaration or not,” explained Skinner.
“We have a lot of houses to see, and we’re doing 10 counties over the next two or three days across the state of Ohio. But it really is a case-by-case basis on the amount of damage that you have in your home, what kind of insurance you had and what programs might fit for you in your road to recovery,“ said Skinner.
Ohio could potentially qualify for individual grant assistance from FEMA or low-interest loans from the Small Business Association. While the decision is being made my state and federal officials, Skinner offers advice for residents on what to do in the meantime.
“We always encourage people to immediately contact their insurance company because that’s the first way to start recovery. Second, if you need to do repairs, do repairs, keep track of them and keep receipts, shared Skinner.”
If Ohio doesn’t meet federal criteria for this funding there’s still hope for assistance as the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Treasurer of Ohio and local long-term recovery committees may also provide aide.
The damage assessment schedule is as follows:
- Montgomery and Greene counties – June 5 and 6;
- Auglaize, Hocking, Mercer and Pickaway counties – June 5; and
- Darke, Miami, Muskingum and Perry counties– June 6.
Once the joint preliminary damage assessment is complete, FEMA and SBA will give their report to the Ohio EMA. If federal impact criteria are met, Governor Mike DeWine can request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, and President Donald Trump would ultimately determine whether any federal assistance is granted.