OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Residents and business owners in disaster-declared Maryland counties are urged by federal and state officials to apply for assistance now and not to prejudge their eligibility for programs and services offered under the September 24 presidential declaration.
"Individuals should not make any assumptions about their eligibility for immediate assistance or long range prevention programs before talking to recovery specialists," said Curt Musgrave, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There is adequate funding to cover disaster-related losses. Applicants are not taking anything away from their neighbors when they apply for and receive assistance.
Registration with FEMA is the necessary first step in applying for disaster assistance. These assistance programs provide the safety net that makes help available wherever it's needed.
Programs and services offered by FEMA and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) include financial assistance to pay for temporary housing, emergency repairs or rebuilding, mortgage and rental costs and individual and family grants to cover serious unmet needs. Low interest disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for repairing or replacing damaged homes and personal property, as well as businesses.
Those affected by Hurricane Floyd should call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029 to apply. Those who are speech- or hearing-impaired can call TTY 1- 800-462-7585. The toll-free application number is available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Many states have been affected by the recent emergencies. If the phone lines are busy, please be patient and call again. Operators are working throughout the week.