Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current, February 01, 2008, Page 18, Image 18

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community news
Some Important Things to Know
About the Recovery Process
The following are highlights from Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) press releases. Visit for more details.
Registration Deadline is February 7, 2008 - Individuals with damage resulting from
the severe storms, wind, mudslides, landslides and flooding of December 1-17, 2007,
must register for disaster assistance with the FEMA and file applications for loans to
repair physical damage with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Rent Reimbursement and Other Assistance - If you are receiving rent reimburse-
ment from FEMA or other assistance while out of your home, make sure you get a
receipt for rent paid or any other expense. If you need to request more assistance, proof
that funds received were used properly may be very important when attempting to secure
additional assistance.
If You Receive a Rejection From FEMA - FEMA would like to remind residents
low-interest loans from the U.S. SBA are not just for small businesses. In fact, the ma-
jority of SBA disaster loans are made to homeowners and renters. SBA is the primary
source of federal funds for long-term disaster recovery for renters, homeowners, non-
farm businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations. Those affected by the
disaster do not have to wait for their insurance settlement before applying for an SBA
loan. In most cases if an applicant does not qualify for an SBA loan, their assistance
request is forwarded to FEMA for further review of any unmet needs.
SBA disaster loans cover costs of repair or replacement of damaged real estate, per-
sonal property and business assets not fully covered by insurance or other aid. For small
businesses, such loans cover working capital needs caused by the disaster.
It is important that those who receive an SBA application fill it out and return it as
quickly as possible, even if they do not want a loan or think they may not qualify. Hom-
eowners and renters who receive an SBA loan application after registering for disaster
assistance with FEMA should complete the disaster loan application and return it as soon
as possible. Those applicants who apply and do not qualify for a loan may be referred to
other programs, but applicants must still complete the SBA loan application before they
can be considered for certain grants and other programs.
Applicants Need to Update Contact Information - FEMA and Oregon Emergency
Management (OEM) urge anyone who applies for disaster assistance to keep in touch and
update their contact information. Applicants whose personal information has changed
need to be sure to call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585.
These lines are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday until further
notice. Changes may also be made online at It’s important
that FEMA has your most up-to-date contact information. Applicants may also update
their information at a Disaster Recovery Center in Vernonia. The center operates from
Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Be Prepared for More Flooding - Oregonians should continue to be vigilant and
prepared for more flooding, landslides and mudslides urge officials with the Governor’s
Recovery Cabinet, OEM and FEMA. “It is important to go a step further and know what
to do before, during and after for specific types of disasters,” State Coordinating Officer
Abby Kershaw said. “Oregonians need to plan ahead for all types of disasters and to
learn to prepare for and respond to them. Taking action today protects our families and
reduces the impact of emergencies when they occur.” Visit
and for more information on preparing for disasters.
Protect Pets During and After Flooding - Simple precautions can protect family pets
when disaster strikes. OEM and FEMA, working with the Humane Society of the United
States (HSUS), recommend having a plan in place before a disaster including properly
registering your pet, having photos of your pet, having an emergency supply of food and
water, and having a place to stay.
Flood Insurance Makes Sense-Oregonians can take steps to protect their financial well-
being before disaster strikes by purchasing flood insurance. You are eligible to purchase flood
insurance if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP),
managed by FEMA, which Vernonia does. To purchase flood insurance, contact your local
insurance agent or find an agent online at or by calling 1-800-427-2419.
Policies for building and contents (personal property) coverage can be purchased separately.
Vernonia Pioneer Museum and
Columbia County Courthouse
Receive Grant Funding
The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, an Agency of the Oregon State Parks
Department, has awarded Columbia County $70,000 in grant funding to help reha-
bilitate and preserve two historic properties--the Vernonia Pioneer Museum and the
Columbia County Courthouse. These grants are provided from lottery dollars and
are awarded through a competitive process for preservation of historic resources
listed on the National Register of Historic Properties or for significant work toward
identifying, preserving and/or interpreting archaeological sites.
The Vernonia Museum Restoration grant will include replacement of the foundation,
rain gutter, and roof, as well as of deteriorated cedar siding on the building. The total
grant and match is $40,000. The Columbia County Courthouse grant is for roof re-
placement and bell tower restoration. Total grant and match is $30,000.
Projects must be completed by December 2008. Priorities and criteria for historic
properties’ grants are:
• The property must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, either
individually or as a “contributing” property in a Historic District.
• Higher priority is given to publicly owned resources and private not-for-profit
(i.e. 501c3 owned) resources and properties that offer the greatest public benefit
through visual access and interpretive/educational value.
• Properties that are not publicly owned must have exceptional significance and/or
extraordinary public benefit to compete.
• All work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation
of Historic Property.
Vernonia Community Emergency Response Team is
Recruiting New Members... 2nd Class Being Formed Now!
Eleven weekly training sessions include:
Fire Suppression
Light Search and Recovery
Disaster Medical Operations
To apply: Contact Vernonia Police Sargent Mike Kay 503-429-7335.
Must be 16 years of age and have a valid drivers license.