KENTUCKY (WEHT) – FEMA urges Kentucky survivors to use their grant money strictly for disaster-related expenses.

To ensure that this happens, FEMA may audit survivors to confirm they spent grants for basic home repairs, replacing essential household items or paying for somewhere to stay if they cannot return home. FEMA sends survivors letters that detail approved uses for grants, including:

  • Repairs to make a home safe, sanitary, and fit to live in.
  • Rental assistance to temporarily pay for a place to stay.
  • Repair or replacement of a disaster-damaged essential vehicle.
  • Medical care for an injury caused by the disaster.
  • Replacing clothing, occupational tools and educational materials.
  • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster.

Disaster grants should not be used for travel, entertainment, regular living expenses, or any discretionary expenses not related to the disaster. Survivors of natural disasters should keep receipts for three years to show how they spent FEMA grants and document how disaster funds were used. Federal law prohibits duplicating assistance from other sources, such as insurance. If grant money is not used as described above, people may have to repay FEMA and the person or people who must do this could lose eligibility for further federal assistance that could become available.

Ways to apply for FEMA assistance are as follows for residents in Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor and Warren counties:

  • Apply online.
  • Call FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362.
  • Use the FEMA mobile app.
  • If using a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.

Helpline hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. To qualify for assistance from FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, a member of the household must be a U.S. citizen, non-U.S. citizen national or qualified alien.

Undocumented families with diverse immigration status only need one family member (including a minor child) who is a U.S. citizen, non-U.S. citizen national or qualified alien who has a Social Security number to apply.

Renters whose homes and property were damaged by the storms may apply for federal assistance. Renters may also qualify for a grant for uninsured essential personal property losses and other disaster-related expenses.

The deadline to apply for assistance is Feb. 11, 2022. For more information about Kentucky tornado recovery, visit this website.