FRANKFORT – Kentucky has received a $1.6 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide long-term recovery assistance to residents of the Kentucky counties hit hardest by the March tornadoes. “We are all aware of the destruction caused by the tornadoes that struck a number of Kentucky counties this year, particularly West Liberty and Morgan County,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.
“Our statewide efforts to help these communities recover have included a wide range of activities from clearing debris to rebuilding local infrastructure. These grant funds from FEMA will allow us to provide tailored support to families to assist them in getting back on their feet.”
The grant will provide long-term recovery disaster case management services to residents of Grant, Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Morgan and Wolfe counties. Services will be available for 18 months. The Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living, housed within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, will administer the grant, according to a state news release.
“A disaster on the scale of these tornadoes has an impact far beyond the initial event,” CHFS Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes said. “These funds will help us provide the support and expertise of trained case managers for those families who were hit hardest and, in so doing, will help ensure their recovery over the long term.”
The department will work with Kentucky Emergency Management and the Big Sandy Area Development District as the grant proceeds.
The Big Sandy Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living, which has a history of providing emergency services, will be the frontline provider of case management services for families who reside in the hardest hit counties, on behalf of the department.
Case managers will complete the United Methodist Committee on Relief basic disaster case management training and American Red Cross training. The training teaches case managers to use a holistic approach during disaster case management. The course also teaches participants how to identify and address the unmet recovery needs of all survivors, particularly people who were vulnerable before a disaster, the news release said.
“This grant will provide the residents of the most impacted communities with an experienced case manager to determine if their needs have been met as they recover from this tremendous disaster,” Deborah S. Anderson, Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living commissioner, said in the news release. “These dollars will provide ground-level services to the vulnerable people of Kentucky and will help them get back to a normal way of life.”
For more information, contact the Department for Aging and Independent Living at 502-564-6930.