HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Juniata County residents who suffered damage or losses caused by the severe storms and heavy rains Aug. 20-21, should apply for state and federal assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free at 1-800-462-9029, prior to visiting a Disaster Recovery Center.
The hearing- or speech- impaired with TTY equipment can call 1-800-462-7585.
"Residents must call the national teleregistration center. It's the only way to apply for state or federal assistance," said Jack Schuback, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. "After they register by calling 1-800-462-9029, a FEMA inspector may visit the person's property to check the damage."
State and federal officials point out that even people who have their property insured may qualify for assistance not covered by that insurance. "The point is that unless disaster victims apply by calling the toll-free number (1-800-462-9029) they won't know if they may qualify for assistance and we can't help them," added Bob Churchman, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) state coordinating officer.
Some of the assistance programs available for individuals in Juniata County include disaster housing assistance, low-interest loans to repair or replace damaged property and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
"Even if you called the local emergency management office after the storm, you must call the 1-800-462-9029 number to be eligible for any further assistance," Churchman added.
After disaster victims register, they can call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 to get information on the status of their claims. The hearing- and speech- impaired with TTY equipment can call 1-800-462-7585.