Updated Guidelines for Federal Tornado Recovery Assistance

A day after President Joe Biden toured tornado-ravaged western Kentucky communities and promised that the federal government would cover 100% of recovery costs, Kentucky Director of Emergency Management Michael Dossett explained the offer’s parameters.

The 100% share, Dossett said, runs for 30 days beginning December 12. Eligible costs include:

  • Debris removal;
  • Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, emergency work, and repair; and
  • Replacement of damaged facilities.

Local and state government agencies and certain private nonprofits may apply. The share is funded through a public assistance grant program. After 30 days, the federal cost-share is 75%.

“The federal government has done everything that we have asked them to do, and we have asked for them to do some things that were hard for them to say, ‘yes’ on,” said Governor Andy Beshear.

The guidance came during Beshear’s Thursday news conference. Beshear said 75 Kentuckians have died due to the storm, including a person who suffered a heart attack while helping clean up in Bowling Green.

A list of those unaccounted for has reduced significantly to 16 names. As of late Wednesday, rescuers feared more than 100 residents might still be missing.

The state disaster relief fund has increased to $15.9 million. Beshear reported that along with the $5,000 in funeral expenses for families impacted, they would look at how to help those without homeowners’ insurance.

First Lady Britainy Beshear thanked those who have donated tens of thousands of toys to the drive organized for children in the impacted areas. “While we are still collecting toys, we need to shift from collection to delivery,” she said. “We are in need of gift-wrapping supplies, more gift cards, and items for older kids and teens.” She requested $25 Visa or Mastercard gift cards, electronics, athletic gear, books, and art supplies targeted more for older children.

Dossett reported that 500 residents are staying at 10 shelters. Beshear said the state is housing a total of 610 survivors.

Also Thursday, Secretary of State Michael Adams announced that his office is exercising its statutory authority to waive the Certificate of Authority requirement for any out-of-state businesses assisting western Kentucky with disaster relief cleanup efforts.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a new hotline to report suspected fraud related to the storms. Residents can call 502-696-5485 to report scams, price gouging, or other types of fraud. You can also report suspected price gouging here or any other scam here.