Mineral Earthquake Recovery

September 27, 2011  //  

Federal assistance for individuals approved

  • The Individual Assistance program has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for residents of these counties: Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania.  Individual Assistance is also available for residents of Fredericksburg.
  • Under this program, grants, low-interest loans, disaster housing assistance and other forms of help are available for homeowners, renters and businesses with damage from the Aug. 23 earthquake and its aftershocks.
  • If you live in the designated localities and have earthquake damage, please call this number toll-free to register for assistance: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  Those with speech disabilities or hearing loss who use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585.  Operators are available to help you seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • You also can apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.  If you are using a mobile device, visit m.fema.gov.
  • You must register with FEMA even if you already reported your damage to your local emergency manager.

If you need help:

  • Register for FEMA assistance:

The deadline to register is March 5, 2012

800-621-FEMA (3362)
TTY: 800-462-7585
Learn more about federal disaster assistance here.

  • Check with local social services department or local emergency manager to find out if agencies and organizations in your area are offering help.
  • Call 211, which is a 24/7 service by the Virginia Department of Social Services.  Operators can help answer questions from citizens and also have access to resources that may be available.
  • Some voluntary organizations are responding to specific needs in communities.  Local emergency managers usually know which organizations are working in their communities.  A statewide list of emergency management offices is available here.

If you want to help, learn more about donating and volunteering during disasters.

Local governments receive federal assistance.

Several localities have been approved to receive federal Public Assistance from FEMA to help them with their costs of responding to and recovering from the earthquake. Federal assistance approved for local governments

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – Mineral Earthquake Federal Assistance

If I have damage, what do I need to do? First, register with FEMA by calling or going online.  Then a FEMA inspector will make an appointment with you to come and view the damage and make an assessment of what it will cost to repair.  Expect to make your own arrangements for repairs, including hiring a contractor and possibly staying somewhere else while repairs are made.  Be ready to make a recovery plan while your situation is being addressed.

  • Homeowners should hire an engineer to look at the damage and develop a scope of work that can be used to hire a contractor.
  • Homeowners should have the inside of their chimney inspected, even if they don’t see obvious damage.  If damage is found, then the inspection and damage could be covered by FEMA assistance.

I’ve already talked to someone with the county or VDEM or FEMA about my damage.  Why do I need to call again? You still need to call or go online to register now that federal assistance has been approved.  This is the process for people to follow to find out if they can receive FEMA assistance.

I just had a couple of cracks in a wall, nothing major. Is there anything for me? You may think your damage is minor, but please call and register.  You could be eligible for some assistance.  And what looks minor to you could be serious damage.
What if I already had repairs made? You could be eligible for some assistance. Call or go online and register.  Be ready to provide documents related to your repairs such as estimates, receipts, invoices, pictures.

I didn’t see any damage when the earthquake first struck, but then damage showed up from aftershocks.  Am I eligible? The period covered for federal assistance is Aug. 23-Oct. 25.  Call or go online and register with FEMA.  They will guide you through the process.

If I want to talk to someone in person about my situation, can I do that? FEMA and VDEM have a Disaster Recovery Center in the town of Louisa where representatives from several state and federal agencies will be meeting with citizens to help them recover from the earthquake.  The DRC is in the Triangle Plaza in Louisa at 502 E. Main St.  It is open Monday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.  It will be open this Friday, Nov. 11 (which is a state and federal holiday).

I know someone who doesn’t live in Louisa County who had damage.  What can they do? They should let their local emergency manager know.  Every county and city has an emergency manager who shares information with VDEM.  It is possible that the commonwealth will ask for other localities to be added to the declaration.  It doesn’t hurt for people in other locations to call the FEMA number, too.  They won’t be registering for aid, but they will be letting FEMA know that there is additional damage.  A statewide list of local emergency managers is available here.

What does the federal declaration or Individual Assistance mean? The governor requests federal help when the extent of damage is beyond the capacity of the state and local governments to recover from a disaster. Gov. McDonnell requested federal assistance to help individuals, families and businesses in Louisa County recover from the August earthquake and its aftershocks. His request was approved Friday, Nov. 4. Individual Assistance means that people who suffered damage and property loss due to the earthquake and not covered by insurance are eligible to apply for grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Are non-U.S. citizens eligible? If there is an eligible member of the family (such as a child born in the U.S.), then they could possibly be eligible for some assistance. It’s best for people to talk directly with FEMA. They look at each case individually.  We encourage people with any questions about eligibility to call FEMA and register:  1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). People also can go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Those with smart phones can register at m.fema.gov.

What about federal assistance for the schools?  FEMA has approved the governor’s request for the Public Assistance program to help with the cost to repair Louisa County schools.  In addition to school repairs, this disaster assistance will help state and local government recover costs associated with earthquake response, such as damage to critical infrastructure, debris removal and related emergency services.

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund