Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal link at the bottom of the page.
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Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Storm Benefits: An Explanation of Individual and Public Assistance
By Pike EMA Director Jim Totten

ZEBULON - On January 12, 2023, severe weather ripped though several Georgia counties, including Pike. Many of these counties received a Federal Disaster Declaration, however Pike County did not. Pike County is working with Ga Emergency Management to change that. More to come on that. We have received several questions from residents who received some incorrect or conflicting information from the staff at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Counties receive Federal Declarations in two categories, Public Assistance (PA) and Individual Assistance (IA). Public Assistance refers to expenditures from the County/City governments for things such as debris removal, road/infrastructure repairs, building damage, and personnel expenses related to the disaster. Individual Assistance refers to damages sustained to personal property such as your homes however it does take into account whether the home is uninsured or underinsured. Individual Assistance also does not cover debris on your property or damages to things other than the actual home. They also expect insurance to cover damages to your home or vehicle.

More information on each of these declarations can be found here:
(PA): https://www.fema.gov/assistance/public
(IA): https://www.fema.gov/assistance/individual

To be eligible for either of these categories of declaration, the county must meet a certain threshold of damage. Unfortunately, Pike County did not meet the dollar threshold requirement after this disaster. Many residents have been advised by FEMA that disaster assessments were not completed after Thursday’s storm however this is simply not the case. 89 properties were impacted by this storm. Of those 71 did not have damage to the primary home and only had debris down or a loss of power. The remaining 18 properties had varying degrees of damage to include 2 that in our opinion were destroyed.

It is also important to remember that even if Pike County did meet the dollar threshold this disaster, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee reimbursement. Several years ago, Pike County was declared after an ice storm and submitted over $250,000 in damages. FEMA denied these reimbursements because we did not have pictures of our dirt roads prior to the ice storm.

Pike County did qualify for low interest loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information on that program please visit the Pike County Ga EMA Facebook page or visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. You can also email us at ema@pikecoes.com and we will forward the information to you or answer any other questions you may have.


Submitted 1.25.23