OMAHA, Neb. -- A temporary disaster field office, opened last month in downtown Omaha to house state and federal disaster recovery specialists, will close Friday, Sept. 17.
"This temporary field office was opened to provide our staffs a place to work so that the recovery operation could get underway," said Carlos Mitchell, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Now that things are progressing well, this office is no longer needed."
Mitchell said that the FEMA staff will continue to work on the flood recovery from its regular, full-time office in Kansas City, Missouri.
Fran Laden, assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the state staff will continue their work from the agency's offices in Lincoln.
"Eliminating this temporary field office does not mean the end of disaster assistance or of the commitment of both our staffs to the recovery process," Laden added. "We'll continue to make sure the people of Burt, Douglas and Washington counties who apply for help get what they may be eligible for."
Individuals, families and businesses with damages from the early August storms have until Oct. 18 to apply for disaster assistance. They can register by calling FEMA at 1-800-462-9029; (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The calls are free and can be taken from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
People who have already registered but who still have questions can call the FEMA Helpline, 1-800-525-0321. For those who are hearing- or speech-impaired, the number is (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Residents, business owners and local governments became eligible for state and federal disaster assistance on Aug. 20 when President Clinton declared a major disaster for Nebraska. Since then, more than $4.5 million in state and federal disaster assistance has been approved for disaster-affected Nebraskans.