Governor Reynolds appeals FEMA denial of assistance for Iowans impacted by July tornadoes

Release Date

Gov. Kim Reynolds submitted an appeal letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Friday asking it to reconsider its denial of her request for federal assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses affected by tornadoes on July 19, 2018.

"We have provided FEMA with additional information that more clearly outlines the tremendous impact this disaster has had on citizens and communities," Gov. Reynolds said. "I am asking that they grant my request to make this assistance available to Iowans who are in need."

On September 14, 2018, the governor received notification from FEMA that it had denied her request to activate the federal Individual Assistance Program in Marshall and Polk counties. Individual Assistance funding provides disaster survivors with programs and services to maximize recovery, including assistance with housing, personal property replacement, medical expenses and legal services. In its denial letter, FEMA said it had determined the impact to individuals and households was not of such severity and magnitude to warrant a designation of Individual Assistance.

Following FEMA's denial, the governor directed the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to work closely with local emergency management agencies to determine if there were additional impacts caused by the tornadoes.

"We've been able to generate a much clearer picture of the direct and indirect impacts the tornadoes have had on the survivors of this disaster, as well as the community as a whole," the governor continued. "Community, state and voluntary organization resources are stretched thin, and with winter fast approaching, we need to make sure these people are able to repair their homes and that businesses are able to reopen to serve the community and contribute to the economy."