The former First Baptist Church Annex was approved for FEMA use Wednesday afternoon and work was started to set up phone and data lines as well as office equipment.
Troy Spence, director of Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, said the office opened at noon today and will remain open until 6 p.m.
“They will also operate Sunday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., then daily from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day including Saturdays.
“The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency announce the openings of Disaster Recovery Center(s) in Bradley, Claiborne and Cumberland counties to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding Feb. 29 through March 2,” said FEMA information officer Susan Solomon.
A DRC opened in McMinn County for McMinn and Polk County victims earlier this week.
“Representatives from the state, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the centers to explain assistance programs and help survivors register for disaster aid,” Solomon said.
Solomon said Wednesday that all affected residents should “fill out all paperwork regardless.”
All DRCs will remain open to aid resident victims until further notice, according to Solomon.
The former First Baptist Church Annex building is located at 340 Church St., 37311.
“There is plenty of parking across the street at the former First Baptist location,” Spence said.
If possible, before visiting a disaster recovery center, people with storm losses should register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), which is video relay service accessible. Applicants using TTY can call 800-462-7585. Help is available in most languages and lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Survivors can also register by computer online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, according to FEMA information.
“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of this disaster,” according to FEMA.
Bradley County residents had $3,198,593 in damage. Included in that assessment were six homes which were destroyed and 13 others heavily damaged, 20 moderately damaged and at least 48 affected.
A total of 87 homes were impacted in some way by the storms, according to Spence.
The initial assessment also included $644,400 in losses by at least two businesses.