MARTIN The days are now numbered for the time the full staff of FEMA representatives will be available at the Martin Community Center, along with other disaster recovery centers around the region.
Martins center will transition to an Small Business Association disaster loan outreach center on June 29, as FEMA makes way and closes full operation two days prior on June 27.
FEMA and the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency opened the recovery centers on June 3, following the flooding that took place during the first week of May.
To date, FEMA has disbursed $10,859,769 and approved $11,187,691 across the region, while registering 4,326 people for assistance.
Workshops held at three Lowes locations across the region to help residents better prepare for future disasters have had a tremendous turnout, said FEMA representative Clare Eckert.
Eckert gave reports last week that some 900 people had turned out for those workshops. As of Monday, that number was up to 5,896.
This incredible turnout is proof of the desire and interest in Eastern Kentuckians to want to prepare themselves, Eckert said.
The reason for the transition from FEMA locations to SBA centers, according to FEMA Director Brig. Gen. John W. Heltzel is a logical one.
The number of visits is declining, which is why we will be closing several of them soon, he said. At the same time, people from any county can continue to visit the DRCs that remain open in Jackson and Pikeville.
Officials stress, however, that it is not necessary to visit these centers to register for aid or to get answers to questions. The same service can be obtained by calling the toll-free FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA. Help can also be found by visiting the website www.disasterassistance.gov.
When the SBA makes the transition as FEMA rolls out, there will still remain some FEMA representatives at the centers to help individuals, Eckert said.