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Impacted by last summer's severe weather? You may be eligible for financial assistance

Five months after severe weather and tornadoes swept through parts of Michigan's lower peninsula, aid is available to impacted residents of Grand Rapids and Kent County.
A log sticking out of the water

A log sticking out of the water /John Rothwell

Grand Rapidians impacted by last summer's severe weather may be eligible for financial assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Individual Assistance Program.

Allison Farole, the City of Grand Rapids's emergency management administrator, gave a briefing to the Public Safety Committee last Tuesday. In her presentation, Farole provided information about how residents, homeowners and business owners in Grand Rapids and Kent County can apply for assistance to help with expenses incurred as a result the storms—from the cost of home repairs and temporary housing to groceries lost during a three-day power outage. 

Residents, homeowners and renters in Grand Rapids and Kent County can apply for assistance online, by phone (1-800-621-3362) or on FEMA's mobile app. Business owners can apply for assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA) online or by phone (1-800-659-2955). 

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 8.

Information such as phone number, address, social security number (SSN) and insurance details will be collected during the initial application process. FEMA will then review the application.

More information about the application process can be found here

Residents and business owners who believe they were impacted by last summer's severe weather are encouraged to apply. 

There is a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) open in Comstock Park at the Henze Community Center in the Alpine Township Fire Station #1.

According to FEMA's website, "regular operating hours for the recovery centers are 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday." 

President Joe Biden signed the Michigan Disaster Declaration on Feb. 8, roughly five months after the severe weather and tornadoes that impacted nine counties in Michigan's lower peninsula between Aug. 24 and 26, 2023.



This article was inspired and informed by notes from March 19's Public Safety Committee, documented by Nate Hunt. Documenter notes are available here


Updated, 10:05 a.m. 3/26/24, clarifiying where businesses can go for support

Updated, 10:12 a.m. 3/26/24, correction of the SBA's full name 

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