CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Where do you go from here-now that the storms have subsided and the flood waters are receding? One of the first steps in the recovery process should be a call to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
A call to FEMA will connect you with many federal and state programs designed to assist in your recovery from the recent violent weather. Registering with other relief agencies, such as the American Red Cross, will not connect you with FEMA or the State of Iowa disaster assistance programs. Obtain Assistance From These Programs You Must Call 1-800-462-9029.
Assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration also will be available to defray residential and business losses not covered by insurance.
All Iowa homeowners, renters, farmers, agricultural producers, and business owners who sustained damage as a result of severe storms and flooding that began on July 2, regardless of where they live, should register with FEMA for disaster assistance. Four Iowa counties, Black Hawk, Butler, Jones, and Woodbury, were included in President Clinton's July 22 disaster declaration.
It takes about a 15-minute phone call to the FEMA toll-free teleregistration number: 1-800-462-9029. TTY service is available at 1-800-462-7585 for anyone who is hearing- or speech-impaired. The registration numbers are available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (CDT), seven days a week until further notice.
The application process can be speeded up if you have the following information readily available:
- Current and pre-disaster address (if appropriate)
- Proof of residency
- Current telephone numbers
- Insurance coverage, including policy number(s), and agent's name