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Machaela Cavanaugh

Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh

District 6

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LINCOLN, Neb. – FEMA is offering a wide variety of help to people affected by the April tornadoes. Every homeowner and renter who suffered damage is encouraged to apply.

FEMA can provide money to eligible applicants for help with serious needs, paying for a temporary place to live, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance.

Money provided by FEMA does not have to be repaid and may include:

  • Serious Needs: Money for lifesaving and life-sustaining items, including water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, breastfeeding supplies, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation.
  • Displacement: Money to help with housing needs if you cannot return to your home because of the disaster. The money can be used to stay in a hotel, with family and friends or other options while you look for a rental unit.
  • Home Repair or Replacement: Money to help you repair or replace your home damaged by the disaster. The money can also help with pre-existing damage to parts of your home where the disaster caused further damage.
  • Rental Assistance: Money you can use to rent housing if you are displaced from your home because of the disaster.
  • Personal Property: Money to help you repair or replace appliances, room furnishings, and a personal or family computer damaged by the disaster. This can also include money for books, uniforms, tools, additional computers and other items required for school or work, including self-employment.
  • Child Care: Money to help you pay for increased or child care expenses caused by the disaster.
  • Transportation: Money to help you repair or replace a vehicle damaged by the disaster when you don’t have another vehicle you can use.
  • Moving and Storage Expenses: Money to help you move and store personal property from your home to prevent additional damage.

Apply with FEMA Whether You Have Insurance or Not

  • Everyone with disaster damage should apply whether they have insurance or not.
  • If you have homeowners, renters, or flood insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. Please stay in close contact with your insurance agency.
  • FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If your policy does not cover all your disaster expenses, you may be eligible for federal assistance.
  • Only damage and needs related to the storms of April 25-27 are eligible.

How to Apply with FEMA

  • Visit
  • Call FEMA directly at 800-621-FEMA (3362)
  • Download and use the FEMA app
  • FEMA works with every household on a case-by-case basis.
  • Anyone using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, can give FEMA the number for that service. For an accessible video on three ways to apply for FEMA assistance, visit:

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.


The Nebraska Department of Labor is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) from individuals in Douglas and Washington counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to the disaster. Additional information can be found in the daily fact sheet. DFS003 Daily Fact Sheet DR4778NE 05082024

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced additional actions it is taking to help people maintain coverage as states continue Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility renewals, which restarted across the country last spring following a pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s actions will continue and extend a previously announced flexibility to make it easier for people to transition to Health Insurance Marketplace®[1] coverage through 2024, help more people with Medicaid and CHIP navigate renewals, and reinforce important federal requirements that are crucial for protecting coverage in states during and beyond “Medicaid unwinding.”

CMS is extending a temporary special enrollment period (SEP) to help people who are no longer eligible for Medicaid or CHIP transition to Marketplace coverage in states using The end date of this “Unwinding SEP” will be extended from July 31, 2024, to November 30, 2024, which will help more people leaving Medicaid or CHIP secure affordable, comprehensive coverage through the start of the next open enrollment period. This extension will be crucial to ensuring people remain covered, including in states that have given people additional time to renew their coverage, as CMS has recommended, to help eligible people stay enrolled. States with state-based Marketplaces can adopt similar extensions.

Read more at:

The Nebraska Broadband Office (NBO) announces the next step in its work bringing the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds to Nebraska, a once-in-a-generation resource to ensure all Nebraska homes and businesses can connect to a global economy. This next step is the challenge process, and NBO is asking for every Nebraskan’s participation, effective immediately.

The goal of the challenge process is to ensure the Nebraska Broadband Availability Map is as accurate as possible. The map defines exact locations in Nebraska according to their high-speed internet (aka broadband) access. The outcome of the challenge process will determine which locations are eligible for BEAD funding to bring high-speed internet to those communities. The challenge process is 90 days broken into three 30-day segments – challenges, rebuttals and decisions. Once the process is complete, changes cannot be made to the Nebraska Broadband Availability Map and only locations marked as unserved or underserved will be able to be bid on by internet providers, to extend access to broadband.

From March 15, 2024, through April 14, 2024, we are asking all Nebraskans to review their homes’ and businesses’ addresses on the Nebraska Broadband Availability Map. This is the best way to ensure a location is eligible for funding. If the information is wrong, please contact an advocate, which is defined as local government offices, nonprofits and internet service providers (ISPs). These advocates are the only entities who can submit challenges to the map. These eligible offices, nonprofits and ISPs are encouraged to contact NBO to register as advocates for their communities. A list of registered advocates can be found on our website at

If a location’s internet service information is wrong, please contact an advocate and request their help to submit a challenge. A step-by-step guide to this process is available on NBO’s website at

ISPs will be notified when they are named in a challenge and will have 30 days to rebut from the time of the notification. NBO will have another 30 days to review challenges and rebuttals and make final determinations. NBO’s decisions will undergo a final approval process by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Challenges and their statuses will be published to the NBO website on a rolling basis. The challenge process will be the final determination of the unserved/underserved locations funded by Nebraska’s BEAD program. After April 14, 2024, NBO will be unable to accept any further challenges to the map.
Reach out to NBO with questions or comments at


Yesterday the OIG for Child Welfare released a special report and recommendations on privatized child welfare services. Long story short – they recommend ending the contract and all privatization efforts. Here’s a link:

Here’s a recent television news article about the wait list known as the “DD wait list.”

Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh

District 6
Room 1115
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2714
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