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Hurricane Irma: Georgia one year, $193 million later

One year after Hurricane Irma hammered the coast and toppled trees and powerlines across the state, Georgia’s recovery continues to move forward. More than $91.8 million has been distributed through federal programs to aid individuals and businesses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program and Hazard Mitigation grants program were made available in all 159 counties under the September 15, 2017 major disaster declaration.

State officials, federal agencies, volunteers and nonprofits continue to partner in Georgia’s comeback from last September’s hurricane. Georgians have also committed finances, valuable time and sweat equity to their recovery.  

Disaster recovery summary as of Aug. 1:

• More than $91.8 million in FEMA disaster assistance, low-interest U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans and National Flood Insurance Program payments have flowed to Georgia for recovery and rebuilding. 

• $17.8 million in loans have been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration for 1,046 homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the hurricane.

• More than $60.5 million has been paid to policy holders through the National Flood Insurance Program. 

• FEMA approved more than $13.5 million to help survivors make home repairs to make them habitable, to replace household items and for other essential needs.

• FEMA has obligated about $102 million to the state to reimburse local and state government agencies and certain private nonprofits for eligible projects such as debris removal and repair of public infrastructure. 

• The state and FEMA are working with more than 400 applicants throughout the state on eligible Public Assistance recovery projects.

• FEMA typically reimburses 75 percent of eligible disaster-related expenses.

 The 2017 disaster season affected nearly 25 million people in the United States. While recovery continues, FEMA and its interagency partners remain focused to the continued resilience of affected communities.

As of July 25, FEMA and its federal partners had obligated $22.9 billion to support response and recovery from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the California wildfires. FEMA and its federal partners have been making long term investments in affected communities and will continue to focus on the progression of recovery for years to come.

The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 serve as a wakeup call to the nation about the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, local citizens are the first in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive. Find resources on how to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community at Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. 

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