DANBURY, Conn. -- Community relations specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with the Connecticut Office of Emergency Management (CT OEM) and city and town emergency management directors to reach out to people in the counties designated under the recent presidential disaster declaration. The counties are Fairfield and Hartford.
Teams have been canvassing communities in the declared areas, offering individuals and small businesses information about disaster relief programs. These programs include housing assistance, low-interest loans and disaster grants.
"We rely on our community relations staff not only to get the word out, but also to find out first hand the problems communities and individuals in those communities are facing," Federal Coordinating Officer Sharon L. Stoffel said.
Community relations team members talk with individuals who suffered losses or damage from the flooding and also meet with representatives of community-based agencies, community leaders and public officials. When unmet needs are identified, that information is communicated back to the state or federal staff best able to respond.
"We're making every attempt to ensure all disaster victims are aware of benefits available through a presidential disaster declaration," State Coordinating Officer John T. Wiltse said. "Reaching out lets people know we're doing everything possible to help."
Team members are also urging people to be sure to register for disaster aid by calling 1-800-462-9029, 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). Both toll-free lines are open from 7 am until 7 pm, seven days a week. The deadline is November 22.