Saginaw County Disaster Resources

FLOOD RESOURCES
WAYS TO HELP

For the latest ways to help please follow United Way of Saginaw County on Facebook.

Volunteer Alerts. Click here to sign up  Saginaw County Community Foundation Response Fund. Click to donate.  United Way of Saginaw County Response Fund. Click to donate.

 

MAY 2020 FLOODING IN SAGINAW COUNTY DECLARED FEDERAL DISASTER

The President has declared that a major disaster exists in Saginaw County as a result of May’s severe storms and flooding. The Saginaw County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group is providing the information below to help aid impacted families with action steps for moving forward.

Anyone in Saginaw County who has sustained damage due to the flood MUST apply directly for federal assistance to FEMA, even if they have already reported their damage to the Saginaw County Emergency Manager or to 211. Those affected must register online at http://www.DiasterAssistance.gov, using the FEMA app, or by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Federal assistance can include: 

  • Grants for temporary housing and home repairs
  • Low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses
  • Other programs to help families recover from effects of the flood 

The Saginaw County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group cautions those affected by the flooding to manage their expectations. Federal assistance is limited to a maximum of $33,000 with the average award being closer to $5,000 or less for each incident.

Beginning July 20, a full-time case manager (funded by the Saginaw Community Foundation) will begin to help impacted families navigate the process of accessing federal, state and local dollars for assistance. If flood victims haven’t yet called 211, they should do so immediately. This will make certain affected residents will be placed into a local database the case manager will use for outreach.

Impacted residents are encouraged to follow The Saginaw County Emergency Management Department @SaginawCoEM on Facebook for the latest developing details. The Saginaw County Long-Term Disaster Recover Group will begin working with FEMA as the agency mobilizes a disaster relief center in the near future. This is likely to take place in Midland and Gladwin counties first, so continued patience is required.

Meanwhile, flood victims should gather all evidence to show the damage to your home, vehicles, or other structures with photos or video. Also, flood victims should keep receipts for any expenses incurred related to the flood. If your insurance carrier has denied your claim, get a denial letter.

The Saginaw County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group is made up of key organizations in Saginaw County that are collaborating to ensure that the county’s 600+ households affected by May’s historic flooding are connected to resources for long-term recovery. The group is concerned that too many people are receiving mixed messages focusing primarily on Midland and Gladwin counties where the devastation was most severe.

“In Saginaw County, we estimate close to $10 million in damages, with many residents confused about what to do here in our county,” said Mark Przybylski, Saginaw County emergency manager. His office, along with United Way of Saginaw County and the Saginaw Community Foundation, have gathered leaders from 211 of Northeastern Michigan, American Red Cross, Michigan State Police, Michigan Community Service Commission, nonprofits, corporations, and faith-based organizations to coordinate efforts to manage the emergency, provide relief, and long-term recovery in Saginaw County.

By the group’s estimates, at least 13 homes in Saginaw County were destroyed by the floods, nearly 150 sustained major damage, nearly 160 minor damage, and more than 130 were affected with water in some way. Homes and businesses were particularly affected in the City of Saginaw, Thomas Township, James Township, Saginaw Township, Spaulding Township, Zilwaukee Township, and Tittabawassee Township.

The group fears that Saginaw County residents are missing opportunities to engage in much- needed support.

“Even combining all our resources here locally and working to get maximum assistance from the state and federal government, we will not have the resources to fully restore homes and families,” Przybylski says regretfully. “But together, we can stretch and maximize to try to get the best possible outcome for our residents.”

 

DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES

FEMA Individual Assistance Program Fact Sheet (PDF)

SBA Low-Interest Federal Loans for Disaster-Related Damages (PDF)

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Fact Sheet (PDF)

 

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, September 21)

PROGRESS UPDATE 

So far, more than 800 Saginaw County households have registered with FEMA. Of those 795 are valid. Remember, an invalid registration most likely requires additional documentation – be sure to provide that if asked. Nearly $2 million has already been paid out in our county for the Individuals and Households Program. 

With just a week and a half left, we encourage anyone not yet registered with FEMA to do so immediately: 

Online: www.DisasterAssistance.gov 
Mobile: Download FEMA app
Phone: (800) 621-3362 | TTY: (800) 462-7585

If you are in the system by September 30, you will be considered for any federal assistance you may be eligible for.

If you’ve applied for assistance with FEMA and are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), it’s important to complete the SBA application for a low-interest disaster loan. If SBA determines you are eligible for a loan, you don’t have to accept it. If you submit an SBA application and are denied, you may then be reconsidered for additional FEMA grants such as personal property replacement, disaster-caused vehicle repair, or moving and storage fees. 

As of September 14, SBA has approved 52 home loans and 2 business loans in Saginaw County totaling more than $2.5 million.  

To apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan, complete an online application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. To reach an SBA customer service representative directly, call (800) 659-2955. Email questions to FOCE-Help@sba.gov.    

The deadline to register with FEMA and SBA is September 30.

INFO VIDEOS  

211 has published three Facebook Live videos with FEMA and SBA staff sharing information and answering questions. Check those out on Facebook @211nemichigan.  

FEMA APPEALS  

If you disagree with FEMA’s decision about your claim, send a letter within 60 days asking for reconsideration. Explain why you think the decision was not correct. 

  • Provide supporting information and documents. 
  • Include your FEMA registration number on all documents.
  • Sign the letter. 

Mail to: FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville MD 20782-7055. Or fax the documents to: (800) 827-8112. Or submit them via a FEMA online account. To set up an online account, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Check Status” and follow the directions. 

EMERGENCY PLANS   

September is National Preparedness Month. While some in our area are still actively working through the devastation of May’s flooding and will be for some time, others have cleaned up and moved on. For those, there’s no better time to invest in developing an emergency plan to minimize your home’s potential risk of future flood damage.  

Here are five DIY actions to be more prepared in the future: 

  • Invest in flood insurance – talk to an agent about your options.
  • Seal foundation cracks – mortar and masonry caulk will fill foundation cracks and help keep water out. 
  • Install a sump pump and backflow valve – make sure you have a sump pump with battery-operated backup in case of electrical failure and consider hiring a plumber to install a backflow valve to push water and sewer backup away from your home. 
  • Elevate utilities – raise and anchor air conditioning condensers, heat pumps, water meters, and other equipment at least 1 foot above the potential flood elevation. 
  • Landscape to improve runoff – build up any sunken areas around the foundation and otherwise improve your yard so it slopes away from your home.

NEED HELP?​

If you would like to speak with a local resource, call long-term recovery case manager Felicia Rose-Barry at (989) 598-3772.  

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, September 14)

THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER WITH FEMA IS EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 30

The deadline to register with FEMA has been extended to September 30. If you are in the system before that date, you will be considered for any federal assistance you may be eligible for. Register in any of these ways:

Online: www.DisasterAssistance.gov 
Mobile: Download FEMA app
Phone: (800) 621-3362 | TTY: (800) 462-7585

FEMA APPEALS

If you disagree with FEMA’s decision about your claim, send a letter within 60 days asking for reconsideration. Explain why you think the decision was not correct.

  • Provide supporting information and documents.
  • Include your FEMA registration number on all documents.
  • Sign the letter.

Mail to: FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville MD 20782-7055. Or fax the documents to: (800) 827-8112. Or submit them via a FEMA online account. To set up an online account, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Check Status” and follow the directions.

SBA LOANS​

If you’ve applied for assistance with FEMA and are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), it’s important to complete the application for a low-interest disaster loan. Next to insurance, an SBA low-interest disaster loan is the primary source of funds for property repairs and for replacing contents destroyed during the flood.

If SBA determines you are eligible for a loan, you don’t have to accept it, but you should complete the loan application as soon as possible to keep your options open. If you submit an SBA application and are denied, you may then be reconsidered for additional FEMA grants such as personal property replacement, disaster-caused vehicle repair, or moving and storage fees.

To apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan, complete an online application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. To reach an SBA customer service representative directly, call (800) 659-2955. Email questions to FOCE-Help@sba.gov. For more information, visit sba.gov.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sept. 30, 2020, to be considered for assistance.

NEED HELP?​

If you would like personalized help navigating the process of accessing federal, state, and local dollars for assistance, call long-term recovery case manager Felicia Rose-Barry at (989) 598-3772.

CONNECT WITH US 

Follow us on Facebook @SaginawCoEM for developing details, future distributions, and other timely details.

 

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, August 31)

THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER WITH FEMA IS EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 30

Register in the following ways:

Online: www.DisasterAssistance.gov 
Mobile: Download FEMA app
Phone:(800) 621-3362 | TTY:(800) 462-7585

Your options to submit documents include:

• Mail to: FEMA Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center, PO Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055.
• Fax to: (800) 827-8112.
• Via FEMA online account: To set up an account, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Check Status” and follow the directions.
Bring your documents to the document drop-off center this week at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1035 N. River Rd., 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

DOCUMENT CENTER

If you don’t have a computer and either 1) need help registering with FEMA, or 2)need help scanning and submitting the necessary documentation, you may visit the FEMA Document Drop-Off Center this week, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1035 N. River Rd., 48609. FEMA personnel will be on hand, ready to scan documents on the spot and return them to applicants.

Wear a face mask and remain in your car as you hand your documents to FEMA personnel. If you have been asked by FEMA to provide additional documentation, please read your FEMA letter carefully and make sure to have everything needed when arriving at the drop-off center.

The document drop-off center will close permanently on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.

APPEALS

If you disagree with FEMA’s decision letter about your claim, follow these steps:

1. Read the letter carefully to find out why the decision was made.

  • You might just need to provide additional information.
  • Common reasons for the initial decision are:
    • The damage was to a secondary home or rental property, not a primary residence.
    • Someone else in the household applied and received assistance.
    • Disaster-related losses could not be verified.
    • Insurance covered all losses.

2. Contact FEMA for help with filing an appeal or any questions:

  • (800) 621-3362 or (800) 462-7585 (TTY).
  • Visit the Saginaw County Document Drop-Off Center next week to talk directly to FEMA personnel.

3. File a written appeal.

  • Explain why you think the determination was not correct.
  • Provide supporting information and documentation.
  • Include your FEMA registration number and all documents.
  • Sign the letter.
  • Submit your appeal within 60 days of the letter date. Information on where to send your appeal is included in your decision letter.

FLOOD INSURANCE

The federal government wants to educate property owners about flood insurance as protection against potential future losses. You are invited to learn more at one of the following webinars, which will address flood risk, flood insurance compared to disaster assistance, standard flood insurance compared to group flood insurance, rate maps, how to purchase, coverage, claims, and appeals:

NEED HELP?​

If you would like personalized help navigating the process of accessing federal, state, and local dollars for assistance, call long-term recovery case manager Felicia Rose-Barry at (989) 598-3772.

CONNECT WITH US 

Follow us on Facebook @SaginawCoEM for developing details, future distributions, and other timely details. 

 

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, August 24)

DROP-OFF SITE

FEMA is opening the document drop-off center August 31–September 30, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1035 N. River Rd. in Saginaw. The site will be staffed with FEMA personnel in personal protective equipment who can scan documents on the spot and return them to applicants.

You must wear face masks and will remain in your car as you hand your document to FEMA personnel. If you have been asked by FEMA to provide additional documentation, please read your FEMA letter carefully and make sure to have everything needed when arriving at the drop-off center.

Remember, you do not have to visit the center to register or submit documents. You may register the following ways:

Online: www.DisasterAssistance.gov
Mobile: Download FEMA app
Phone: (800) 621-3362 | TTY: (800) 462-7585

Documents may be submitted any of these ways:

• Mail to: FEMA Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center, PO Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
• Fax to: (800) 827-8112
• Via FEMA online account: To set up an account, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Check Status” and follow the directions

The document drop-off center will close permanently at 7 p.m. on September 30.

FEMA DEADLINE

As of today, more than 430 Saginaw County households have valid registrations with FEMA under consideration for individual assistance. In Saginaw County, $1,258.657 has been paid out as of late last week for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.

Remember, THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER WITH FEMA IS SEPTEMBER 8.

LEGAL SERVICES

Flood victims facing legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer may call (866) 418-8315, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Thursday and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Fridays to request assistance. When connected to the hotline, you should identify that you are seeking disaster-related legal assistance, give brief details of the assistance needed, and provide your location in Saginaw County. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Michigan lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal assistance.

USDA PROGRAM

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) may be able to assist homeowners in Saginaw County. You can search your property address to see if it is eligible by going to the USDA website Property Eligibility page. To learn more about the program, visit rd.usda.gov, email: rdquestion@stl.usda.gov, or call (800) 414-1226 or (800) 438-1832 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Most rural development programs are income-based. However, loans may be available for those above the income threshold. Special consideration is often given to veterans and those 62 and older.

KNOW THE FACTS

Federal assistance can be an important recovery resource for those with uninsured or underinsured property damage. Know the facts about the help that may be available to you:

• You won’t be taking grand money away from someone else by applying.
• FEMA assistance does not have to be repaid, is non-taxable, and does not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, or other benefits.
• You only need to submit one contractor quote or estimate when appealing a FEMA decision.
• If your insurance is delayed by 30 days or more, and you need immediate money to relocate, FEMA may be able to help. The FEMA helpline is (800) 621-3362.
• You may be eligible for money to help repair or replace your car if it had uninsured damage caused by the disaster.
• SBA loans for the flood are separate from the SBA loans for COVID-19.
• You may be eligible for an SBA loan amount increase up to 20% of your property’s damage to make your home safer.
• If you applied for assistance through a voluntary organization or other federal or state agency, you are not registered with FEMA.

PROTECT YOURSELF

Here are some simple rules to follow to protect yourself from contractor fraud:

• Use only state-licensed contractors.
• Get more than one written estimate (although only one is needed for FEMA appeal).
• Check references and ask for proof of liability insurance and Worker’s Compensation.
• Don’t sign a contract with blank spaces and get any guarantees in writing.
• Pay in installments, and make the final payment after the work is completed.
• Report disaster-related fraud to the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (877) 765-8388.

NEED HELP?

If you would like personalized help navigating the process of accessing federal, state, and local dollars for assistance, call long-term recovery case manager Felicia Rose-Barry at (989) 598-3772.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Disaster unemployment assistance is available for those in Saginaw County whose employment, self-employment, or unemployment was lost or disrupted by the severe storms and flooding. It is designed, among other things, for those who are unemployed or self-employed and don’t qualify for regular unemployment. If you can no longer work because of damage to your place of employment or can’t perform work because of a flood-related injury, you are encouraged to apply.

First step: first apply for regular unemployment at www.michigan.gov/UIA. If your claim is denied, then apply for disaster unemployment assistance by immediately filling out the paper application packet at www.Michigan.gov/UIA or call (866) 500-0017.

NOT CLEANED UP? 

Don’t wait any longer! Call 2-1-1 and apply to FEMA immediately.

CONNECT WITH US 

Follow us on Facebook @SaginawCoEM for developing details, future distributions, and other timely details. 

 

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, August 18)

CHECK-IN

With your neighbors! Please help us make sure the elderly, in particular, are informed so they can get the help they need. Many visit our supply distribution sites saying they come because they hear about the help from neighbors, rather than Facebook or this website. Even those who think they don’t have needs are encouraged to register with FEMA. So, share this information with your neighbors!

FEMA DEADLINE

Nearly 400 Saginaw County households have valid registrations with FEMA under consideration for individual assistance. In Saginaw County, $1,102,106 has been paid out as of late last week for FEMA’s individual household program. 

Remember, THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER WITH FEMA IS SEPTEMBER 30.

Here’s how to apply with FEMA:

FEMA funds are distributed in the form of direct deposit or check and can arrive within a few days for those with valid registrations and approved funding. If your registration is deemed “invalid,” please read your letter carefully! This is often easily remedied by following through with the requested items.

FLOOD INSURANCE

We now estimate that 45% of those with damage had flood insurance, which is an encouraging number compared to Midland or Sanford. Still, homeowners can apply for FEMA aid for recovery expenses NOT covered by insurance.

HOME HEATING 

As temperatures drop in the coming months, your furnace will become the most important appliance in your home. If floodwaters reached your furnace or hot water heater, you should have them checked for operating safety NOW by experienced repair personnel before the cold weather arrives. Homeowners who receive a FEMA grant for repairs and later discover their furnace or water heater needs replacing must use the FEMA appeal process for additional grant funds. The homeowner has 60 days to appeal and must submit a letter with a verified contractor’s estimate for replacement of the furnace or water heater.

CONTRACTORS 

We are aware that residents are having difficulty finding contractors to complete their home repairs. The Saginaw County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group is working on building a list of smaller commercial contractors that may be available in the near term. Meanwhile, we encourage homeowners to contact the Home Builders Association of Saginaw or by calling (989) 793-1120 as a starting point for finding and selecting a quality residential contractor.

NEED HELP? 

If you would like personalized help navigating the process of accessing federal, state and local dollars for assistance, call long-term recovery case manager Felicia Rose-Barry at (989) 598-3772. 

NO COMPUTER? 

Our one-stop flood recovery drive-through center at Holy Spirit, 1035 N. River Rd.,Thomas Township, will open soon. FEMA and SBA representatives will be available to help those who are unable to fill out and submit paperwork virtually.

DO NOT WAIT for this event if you have other means for applying and submitting documents online. REMEMBER, THE DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 30 FOR FEMA AND SBA.

UNEMPLOYMENT 

Disaster unemployment assistance is available for those in Saginaw County whose employment , self-employment, or unemployment was lost or disrupted by the severe storms and flooding. It is designed, among other things, for those who are unemployed or self-employed and don’t qualify for regular unemployment. If you can no longer work because of damage to your place of employment or can’t perform work because of a flood-related injury, you are encouraged to apply. 

First step: apply for regular unemployment at www.michigan.gov/UIA. If your claim is denied, then apply for disaster unemployment assistance by immediately filling out the paper application packet at Michigan.gov/UIA or call (866) 500-0017. 

NOT CLEANED UP? 

Don’t wait any longer! Call 2-1-1 and apply to FEMA immediately.

CONNECT WITH US 

Follow us on Facebook @SaginawCoEM for developing details, future distributions, and other timely details. 



ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, August 3)

FEMA UPDATE

President Trump declared a major disaster for mid Michigan following the May floods, more than 1,200 homeowners and renters have been approved for more than $25 million in assistance from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA has approved 141 loans to individuals and businesses nearing $11 million.

As of today, 319 Saginaw County households have valid registrations with FEMA under consideration for funding – which represents a little over half of those impacted by the floods in our county. We encourage others to register as soon as possible. Remember, renters may apply as well as homeowners. 

Here’s how to apply with FEMA:

For individuals and businesses seeking low-interest SBA loans, know that you must first register with FEMA. Once that is complete, we encourage you to talk directly with an SBA agent for help with the loan application. You can do so at any of these numbers: (571) 442-8013, (571) 422-6016, (571) 422-0331 M-F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (TTY: (800) 877-8339).

In the event that SBA denies a loan application, applicants can return to FEMA to request funding.

DEADLINE

The deadline to register with FEMA is September 30.

NO COMPUTER?

Our one-stop flood recovery drive-through “center” at Holy Spirit Parish, 1035 N. River Rd., Thomas Township, will open in mid-August. FEMA and SBA representatives will be available to help those who are unable to fill out and submit paperwork virtually. 

DO NOT WAIT for this event if you have other means for applying and submitting documents online.

CONSTRUCTION

We are extremely fortunate to have Herb Spence of Spence Brothers as the chair of our construction committee. Herb has volunteered to lend his time, expertise and leadership to coordinate local and national volunteer organizations that will be doing long-term repairs and rebuilds associated with the disaster damage in Saginaw County.  

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Herb is just one example of Saginaw County’s outpouring of support for our neighbors impacted by the flood. Though much of the initial damage is cleaned up and trash has been removed from property, this event is far from over. The long-term recovery is ongoing and active, focused on getting families back into safe, livable homes. Individuals, businesses and organizations are still stepping up with donations, clean-up supplies, and volunteer service. And we couldn’t do it without the unwavering support from a close network of nonprofit agencies and charitable organizations that remain committed to lending a hand as well as their limited financial resources. 

NEED HELP?

If you would like personalized help navigating the process of accessing federal, state and local dollars for assistance, call case manager Felicia Rose-Barry at (989) 598-3772. 

NOT CLEANED UP?

Don’t wait any longer! Call 2-1-1 and apply to FEMA. 

CONNECT WITH US

Follow @SaginawCoEM on Facebook for developing details, future distributions, and other timely details. 

 

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, July 27)

NEED HELP?

If you would like personalized help navigating the process of accessing federal, state and local dollars for assistance, call case manager Felicia Rose-Barry at (989) 598-3772.

APPLY WITH FEMA

Residents impacted by the flood must still apply with FEMA – even if you have already called 2-1-1, completed a self-reporting damage assessment survey, or have been visited by a local damage assessment team. To date, FEMA has approved $12.8 million in grants for this disaster from 1,100 applications. Here’s how to apply:

GRANTS MAY FUND

  • Rental assistance
  • Lodging expense reimbursement
  • Home repair
  • Home replacement
  • Repair or replacement of household items
  • Medical/dental
  • Child care
  • Transportation
  • Moving and storage expenses
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Crisis counseling
  • Disaster unemployment
  • Disaster legal services
  • Disaster case management
  • SBA low-interest loans may be available for large, uninsured losses

FEMA APPEALS

If you disagree with your FEMA grant amount, you must appeal within 60 days. Send a signed, written explanation of why you disagree and any supporting documents. Make sure to provide your name, FEMA application number, disaster number, pre-disaster address, current phone and address.

  • Fax to: (800) 827-8112 ATTN: FEMA appeals officer, or
  • Mail to: FEMA, P.O. Box 10055, Huntsville, MD 20782-8055

LET THE COMMUNITY HELP YOU

Throughout the clean-up process – even at our recent supply distributions – we are meeting people who are reluctant to accept assistance from community organizations reaching out with cleaning supplies, food boxes, gift cards, and volunteer labor. Please accept your community’s assistance because it will help relieve the financial strain of this disaster in small but impactful ways.

NOT CLEANED UP?

Don’t wait any longer! Call 2-1-1 and apply to FEMA. 

NO COMPUTER?

The FEMA application process is being conducted almost entirely online because of the current pandemic. If you have access to a smart phone or computer, or have friends or family who can help you, do not delay in applying to FEMA.

Documents can be easily scanned using smart phone apps or even the “Notes” app on iOS devices.

However, for those without access to a computer or scanner, we have finalized a one-stop flood recovery drive-through “center” at Holy Spirit Parish on River Rd. in Thomas Township for mid August (exact date to be announced soon). FEMA and SBA representatives will be available to help those who are unable to fill out and submit paperwork virtually. 

Do not wait for this event if you have other means for applying and submitting documents.

CONNECT WITH US

Follow @SaginawCoEM on Facebook for developing details, future distributions, and other timely details. 

 

 

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY MAY’S FLOODING 

(Updated, July 20)

FIRST STEP

Register with FEMA for disaster assistance. This step is required even if you have already contacted 2-1-1 or reported damage via the self-reporting damage assessment site. 

HAVE READY

  • Social security number (one per household)
  • Address of damaged home or apartment
  • Description of damage
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • Telephone number, mailing address
  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds

KEEP

  • FEMA Registration Number

HOME INSPECTIONS

  • Part of the process for verifying damage and loss for applicants
  • Conducted by phone instead of in-person
  • Calls will take 20-30 minutes
  • About inspectors:
  • might be from out of state or “caller ID unavailable”
  • will provide a call-back number on voicemail if you don’t answer
  • will know your FEMA registration number
  • will ask about the type and extent of damage sustained
  • will NEVER ask for social security number or bank information
  • When in doubt, do not give out any information, but call (800) 621-3362 
  • After a home inspection, a record of the damage is given to FEMA
  • If you qualify, funds will be issued 7-10 days after your application

APPLY WITH SBA

For low-interest federal loans for disaster-related damages. You must complete registration with FEMA first.

DOCUMENT DROP-OFF

Saginaw County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Group is working with FEMA to set-up a one-stop flood recovery drive-through “center”. Once established, FEMA and SBA representatives will be available to help those who are unable to fill out and submit paperwork virtually. Dates and the location will be announced soon.

HELP

Beginning Thursday, July 20, Saginaw County will have the expertise and assistance of a full-time case manager to help affected families navigate the process of accessing federal, state and local dollars for assistance. Be sure to call 2-1-1 for this assistance.

BEWARE

The Attorney General warns disaster victims that scammers are attracted to locations in hopes of taking advantageof otherwise careful consumers who have FEMA money for repairs.

Ignore door-to-door solicitors offering damage recovery or discounts with leftover supplies from another job. 

If you believe a retailer or contractor is charging a price “grossly in excess” of what others are charging for similar goods or services, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (877) 765-8388 or file an online complaint at https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx

 

ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY FLOODING

(Updated, June 25)

CALL

Call 2-1-1 if you haven’t already.

CLEAN

If you have not cleaned up yet, you must now. Don’t wait for your insurance carrier to assess damages. At this point, due to expected mold growth, clean-up should be done wearing protective gear. We can connect you with organizations ready to safely help you with these efforts.

DOCUMENT

Have evidence to show the damage to your home, vehicles, or other structures with photos or video and keep receipts for any expenses you have incurred related to the flood. If your insurance carrier has denied your claim, get a denial letter. 

CONNECT

We are waiting for a decision on whether or not the federal government will declare our area a federal disaster, which could mean Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. Saginaw County’s initial data and damage assessments are being reviewed at the federal level. There is no timeline on when a decision will be made.

If a federal disaster declaration is secured, those impacted by the flood may be able to apply for low-interest loans for personal property, moving, storage, and transportation. In the event those are denied, FEMA has other resources that could potentially be available. 

However, we caution everyone to manage their expectations. The maximum federal assistance award is $33,000 while the average award amount is far less.  

While we await this decision, follow us on Facebook @SaginawCoEM for announcements and next steps.

REPORT

To file a complaint with Department of Insurance and Financial Services, insureds can visit https://difs.state.mi.us/Complaints/FileComplaint.aspx. They can also call (877) 999-6442 or email DIFSComplaints@michigan.gov.

 

RECOVERY PROCESS & FINANCIAL AID OVERVIEW

PHASE ONE: EMERGENCY

Local government and voluntary agencies provide for medical needs and basics like food, shelter, personal care items and cleaning kits.

PHASE TWO: RELIEF

The initial data collected through self-assessments and actual assessments has been submitted to the State of Michigan. That data has now been given to the federal government for consideration of a Disaster Declaration, which could mean potential Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.

ACTIONS FOR HOMEOWNERS

INSURANCE

Property owners with flood damage should contact their insurance agents to assess coverage and amounts. If insurance will not cover damages, be sure to get a Statement of Denial from the insurance company. Property owners are advised to save all receipts and take photo and video documentation of damages and any work done.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Michigan’s insurance regulatory agency, provides helpful information and possible remedies related to flooding and insurance. Learn more

STATE AND LOCAL AID

Here is the process our county must go through for requesting and receiving state and federal aid:

With a Federal Disaster Area Declaration now in place, residents may also find this link helpful to understand the FEMA process and the types of aid that may be available (Understanding the FEMA Process). Those affected must register online at http://www.DiasterAssistance.gov, using the FEMA app, or by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

The following potential Federal programs may be available (NOTE: Average Federal assistance has been $5,000 per incident; max is $33,000) (links not available yet):

PHASE THREE: LONG-TERM RECOVERY

The Long-Term Recovery Group is comprised of community organizations, faith-based groups, corporations and volunteers that collaborate and coordinate long-term recovery efforts.

Long-Term Recovery Group Structure:

GENERAL FAQ

I don’t know where to start. What should I do?

What is 2-1-1 and how can they help?

2-1-1 is a free, east-to-remember telephone number that connects people in need with people who can help – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are an information and referral service. Their database is continually updated to reflect the most up-to-date resources available. They will not meet your individual needs directly, but can connect you to organizations and services that can help.

There are multiple ways to connect with 2-1-1:

I have not been able to connect to 2-1-1 or calls have dropped. What can I do?

For many people in the Saginaw area, internet and cell service has been challenging as crews work hard to restore service to this area. It is not uncommon for cell phones to drop calls. This can be very frustrating. If you are getting disconnected when trying to call 2-1-1, remember it is most likely a reception issue. Try using the text option, consider changing locations or going online at www.211nemichigan.org.

I have been displaced from my residence due to the flood. What do I do?

If you are displaced due to flooding and need short-term housing assistance, contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED-CROS) and select the following prompts:

I want to make repairs to my home or business. How do I secure the proper permits or inspections?

Contact your local municipality for assistance on permits for all plumbing/mechanical, electrical and building permits/inspections.

How do I know if I need to secure a permit from the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE)?

EGLE permits may be required when working within regulated areas such as the 100-year floodplain, wetlands, lakes and streams. EGLE permits are NOT required for construction outside of regulated areas and are not required to remove debris from the flood. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/jointpermit or contact EGLE District Engineer Joy Brooks at (989) 280-1632.

Where can I access basic needs items?

Call 2-1-1, email info@unitedwaysaginaw.org, visit www.unitedwaysaginaw.org, or follow United Way on Facbook for ongoing updates to Resource Centers.

How can I access food for myself and my family?

There are many options for healthy food throughout Saginaw County. Your first call should be to 2-1-1 to be connected to a food pantry, giveaway or other program closest to you.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT HIRING A FLOOD RESTORATION SPECIALIST

The truth behind the flood restoration process is that it is generally expensive and may take several days to complete, depending on the extent of the water damage you experience. Quick fixes may end up costing you more in the end. The cost of hiring a legitimate disaster recovery company will ultimately save you time and money.

  • Be wary of people you do not know knocking at your door offering discounted flood repair services. These individuals may not be legitimate contractors but will claim FEMA or your insurance company sent them to your home or business. 
  • When done incorrectly, flood repair can result in the growth of dangerous molds, structural damage to a building, rot, the harboring of disease-carrying microorganisms, and ongoing damage to wet contents.
  • Before hiring a flood restoration specialist, do the following to avoid falling victim to a scam:
  • Talk to your insurance agent to learn if your insurance policy helps cover the cost of a disaster recovery service.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to learn about flood restoration specialists that have received good reviews.
  • Get all contractor estimates in writing and seek at least three bids.
  • Learn about a contractor’s methods to remediate water damage and wet documents.
  • Require the contractor gives you all guarantees in writing and a contract before the work begins.
  • Ask the contractor for proof of general liability insurance and call the insurance company listed on the documents provided to make sure the contractor has an active policy.
  • Check with your local construction contractor’s board or department of labor to make sure a contractor registered his business with the state.
  • Avoid contractors who come to you unsolicited and try to pressure you into hiring their services, require full payment upfront or require you to obtain permits to complete work.
  • Only issue the final payment for flood restoration work after a contractor finishes the job.
  • Never pay with cash; always use a check.

If you feel you have already been taken advantage of and would like to file a complaint, Michigan’s attorney general provides an online complaint form at https://secure.ag.state.mi.us/complaints/consumer.aspx.

For more information, go to https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/After_the_Disaster_558266_7.pdf.

Where can I get access to mental health resources?

The following agencies are committed to serving those in need of mental health and substance use support. They offer low- or no-cost services to those facing financial challenges:

  • Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority (989)797-3400
  • Michigan Stay Well Counselors (888) 535-6136 (press “8” when prompted)
  • Call 2-1-1 or log in to mihopeportal.com
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255
  • National Disaster Distress helpline (800) 958-5950
  • Salvation Army Emotional and Spiritual hotline (877) 220-4195