ROSEVILLE — The recent storms that ravaged through the area left behind a lot of damage for residents to deal with. Shortly after the May 27 tornadoes that were confirmed in Hocking, Perry and Pickaway counties, as well as other areas throughout Ohio, federal assistance was made available to those affected by the storms.

However, it wasn’t until Monday, July 1, that information was made available as to where renters, homeowners and businesses could apply for help. A Disaster Recovery Center has now been announced by FEMA and Ohio EMAs in order to help those who were affected.

The Recovery Center opened Wednesday, July 3, to help renters, homeowners and businesses in the Roseville area; as well as those residing in Hocking County.

The Center is located at the Roseville Elementary School, 35 Elm Street; and is open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday; closed on July 4 for the holiday; and will resume helping residents on Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is also a Disaster Recovery Center open in Pickaway County at 160 Island Road, Circleville, beginning on Monday, July 8 through Wednesday, July 10 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

Media Relations Specialist Gerard Hammink stated that the Roseville Elementary School is a viable option because of its central location in relation to most of the residents that were affected in the area. Individuals can also visit any open Disaster Recovery Center in the state to get questions answered. Residents are suggested to visit fema.gov/DRC to find the closest recovery center.

“We try to have community and local officials there as well,” Hammink said.

There will be representatives from FEMA, United States Small Business Administration, Ohio Emergency Management Agency and other Ohio local agencies and officials on hand to assist those who need help. They will be available to answer and explain any questions about assistance and disaster programs. They will also provide literature about repairs and rebuilding to make homes resistant to disasters in the future.

Individuals who were affected are recommended to register for federal assistance. The first way is — people can register online through disasterassistance.gov. Residents who were affected can also use the FEMA app or can call 800-621-3362. Toll free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. There are also multilingual operators available.

“What we suggest is that people register online before they go to a recovery center,” Hammink said. “Just so all their basic information is in the system. It just saves a little bit of time.”

According to FEMA, 10 counties in Ohio have been approved for individual assistance. Those counties are Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry and Pickaway. There will be additional recovery centers open to support survivors in other counties.

According to Congressman Steve Stivers, residents can also seek help through his offices in Central Ohio.

“They can call one of my offices — they can call my Lancaster office at 740-654-2654 or they can call my Hilliard office at 614-771-4968,” Stivers told The Perry County Tribune.

“They should just tell the people in my office what they need, if they have damage and they’re either in Pickaway, Hocking or Perry counties and that they want to register for assistance or they can go online to disasterassistance.gov and register themselves,” Stivers continued.

According to the Governor’s office, FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency did damage assessments the first week of June. The assessments documented 942 homes and buildings were either destroyed or significantly damaged, and 837 more homes and buildings suffered minor damages or slightly affected.

“I am proud of the collaborative efforts that quickly delivered funding and assistance to the people of Ohio,” commented Stivers. “In the span of three days, there were 21 tornadoes that touched down throughout Ohio. It is absolutely crucial that we continue working to provide quality resources so that individuals and families can recover from the damage and resume their lives as soon as possible,” he concluded.

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Aleksei Pavloff is a reporter for The Perry County Tribune. Editor Debra Tobin also contributed to this article.

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