FEMA can’t help everyone; owners encouraged to accept help from the community – The Denver Post

Residents who lost their homes in the Marshall fire cannot be assured that FEMA will close the gap between insurance coverage and the cost of reconstruction. They do, however, have access to federal loans to help fill these gaps.

“FEMA assistance is capped at a certain amount, so if people are insured, it is not always guaranteed that FEMA will help meet these unmet needs,” FEMA Representative Adam said. Heyns, to residents who joined federal, state and local officials in a virtual town hall. on Sunday.

Heyns said low-interest Small Business Administration disaster loans are available.

Additionally, State Representative Tracey Bernett urged residents to accept the “influx of aid” offered in the aftermath of the disaster.

“So many people here in Boulder County, across the state and across the country have come together; and help in many ways, with their time, talent and treasure, ”said Bernett, who represents District 12, which includes Louisville and Lafayette. “Let go of your hesitation and accept the help that is being offered to you at this time. Think of it not as a donation or charity, but as a big hug from people all over the world. “

Federal aid was only one of the concerns discussed on Sunday. Ahead of town hall, residents of Louisville and Superior were able to submit questions to be answered at the meeting regarding next steps in the rebuilding process, as the two cities slowly back down to rebuilding.

The town hall panel included several Colorado lawmakers, as well as representatives from organizations such as FEMA, Colorado Division of Insurance, Boulder County Disaster Recovery, Homeland Security, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Small Business Administration and United Policyholders, a nonprofit that provides information for policyholders.

Senior Mayor Clint Folsom and Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann were also in attendance.

Congressman Joe Neguse expressed satisfaction with Marshall’s emergency response to the fire and reminded those affected by the blaze to visit the Disaster Assistance Center at 1755 South Public Road in Lafayette, which will be open and operational for about a week, according to Garry Sanfaçon, disaster recovery manager for Boulder County.

The panel answered several questions from the public regarding issues of insurance, unemployment, debris removal, as well as future plans for the recovery and reconstruction process.

Kevin Klein, Colorado Division Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, detailed key recovery goals after the fire, including providing safe housing and shelter to those still displaced, the safe disposal of debris from homes and property, as well as coordinating a local, state, federal and voluntary recovery program.

Klein also addressed emergency alerts, reminding residents of Boulder County to make sure they are enrolled in the emergency alert system in order to receive emergency warnings and evacuation orders.

The commission identified debris as a major concern for the salvage effort, as many destroyed and damaged properties contain toxic or otherwise harmful particles that would be dangerous for members of the public to dispose of on their own.

Any debris removal plan must be approved by the county, which is why Sanfaçon reminded residents to be patient with the debris removal process. “Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time for life to return to normal, ”said Sanfaçon.

For those who are qualified, the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment offers disaster unemployment insurance. People who may have lost their jobs or sources of income due to the fire are encouraged to apply for disaster unemployment through the CDLE website.

Students in Louisville and Superior who may have lost their school supplies in the fire are entitled to free items such as backpacks and laptops, as well as transportation, BVSD Superintendent Rob Anderson said. , during a meeting. Parents of displaced students can register their child as displaced at bvsd.org.

To view the entire virtual town hall, go to facebook.com/stevefenberg for a link to the entire Zoom meeting. For those with questions or looking for resources on the Marshall Fire, visit bouldercounty.org/disasters/wildfires/marshall.

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