Narrator: Major Disaster Declarations open the doors, in some cases, for people to register for federal aid. A key part of the process is the Disaster Recovery Center: a place where people can go for help. Mark Price: You want to register for assistance because there may be some funding that we can provide to help you in your recovery process. And it may not just be FEMA monies, it may be from our partners like SBA or it might be a voluntary agency that might be able to do something to help you recover. Janae Sullivan: It’s important to register, so that we know you need help and then we will guide you through the process, once you register. People with uninsured and underinsured losses need to apply. If you do have insurance, apply with your insurance company first, then FEMA can help you after that point. Crystal Brown: You can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by phone at 1-800-621-3362 or you can visit one of our Disaster Recovery Centers. Brian Williams: At the request of the state, we set up the Disaster Recovery Center to support locally. And so, you are going to have everyone from FEMA, the Small Business Administration, possibly other voluntary agency partners and local partners as well. So, there are a wide variety of people that are there to help you with the whole process. Mark Price: Our friendly representatives are going to take you and walk you through there and make sure you get any opportunity to ask questions and then we’re going to connect those questions with people who can provide answers for you. Janae Sullivan: Hazard Mitigation may be at a Disaster Recovery Center or somewhere locally. I'd like to encourage you to talk to a Mitigation Representative because they can show you things like how to rebuild your home to be more flood resilient, or how to build a safe room or how to elevate your home and utilities. Mark Price: We know that disasters have a psychological effect on individuals and sometimes people just need to talk to someone else about it. Sometimes it can be a major effect - family members that have lost their lives, and if you've lost everything that you owned - it's going to have an effect on you and you need to talk to someone. Crystal Brown: A counselor is available in the center; however, if there is not a counselor there, you will at least be able to obtain referrals for local community resources. Crystal Brown: When you visit a recovery center you should bring the address of your home. You should bring a copy of your social security number, your driver’s license, and you also would want to provide us with information on where you are currently staying and also any insurance documents if you have them available. Janae Sullivan: If you have high income and insurance there is still reason to apply, because there might be unmet needs - like a private road, if that's damaged due to the disaster, then FEMA has possible assistance for that and it may not be covered by insurance. A well is another example that FEMA has assistance for. Additional living expenses for a hotel while a repair is being made, sometimes that runs out if you have insurance or it may not be covered by your policy at all. FEMA can help you at that point. Crystal Brown: Once you register with FEMA, don't hesitate to begin your recovery process. Begin making repairs on your home, make sure you take pictures of your progress and make sure you keep all your receipts. Someone from inspection services might contact you to conduct an inspection on your home. Mark Price: All of our inspectors should have identification. If they don't want to show it to you then they probably aren't with us. There is no problem with you asking to see an inspectors badge. I would also caution that people that did receive money and need to repair their home, I'd watch out for contractors, I'd get multiple bids, make sure those aren't some contractors that want to do harm to the applicant. Crystal Brown: And make sure you receive, or return the SBA application that you received, even if you don't think you qualify. Complete that and turn it in as soon as possible. Janae Sullivan: In order to find out if you qualify for disaster assistance, FEMA will send you a letter in the mail. You can also call the FEMA helpline number at 1-800-621-FEMA to find out if you’ve been approved for assistance. Mark Price: You’ll want to make sure you watch the dates on that letter, just in case you don’t agree with what’s on that letter, there’s a time to do an appeal. So you’ll want to make sure you look after the information you receive from FEMA. Mark Price: There's no fees for coming and getting assistance from FEMA. If someone is trying to charge you a fee, you need to call the help desk line or talk to an applicant services specialist there or a supervisor there and say someone has been trying to charge me for this assistance. Janae Sullivan: Federal disaster assistance doesn't effect income taxes. So talk to your tax advisor and see if there is any tax relief due to the disaster. Mark Price: We do this because it’s important. If everyone has ever gone through a disaster, who’s ever had any family members affected, had their homes destroyed. We want to make sure that they have an opportunity to recover. So FEMA and our partners provide assistance to help them through that recovery process. We want them to get as close to normal as possible. Brian Williams: We are here to help you. And it's more than just the mission of our agency. It's a personal mission I think that each of us have to help our fellow citizens recover from disasters and do whatever we can as part of the team - doing our roll and due diligence to make sure you gain every single bit of resources that we can provide you or refer you to the appropriate people. Narrator: A person can go to any recovery center no matter where they live. If one is not convenient, you can call the FEMA helpline at 1- 800-621-3362 for directions on submitting your documents to FEMA.