Columbus, OH -- Jackson and Pike counties have been added to the disaster declaration issued by President Clinton, March 7, which now makes a total of seven southern Ohio counties eligible for various forms of state and federal disaster assistance programs. The two counties were added after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reviewed additional damage information.
Individuals and businesses that suffered damage from the flooding that occurred between February 18 and March 2, in Adams, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike and Scioto counties, are eligible to apply for assistance. Federal and state assistance provides a wide range of programs such as funding for disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
A toll-free application telephone number is operational for those in the seven declared counties who suffered property damage or loss from flooding. More than 200 residents and business owners have already called to apply.
FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Gair explained that those affected by flooding may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (EST), Monday through Saturday, until further notice. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
"Phone-in application is simple, quick and efficient and it is the only way to apply for disaster assistance," said Ohio EMA State Coordinating Officer James R. Williams. "Even if people have previously talked with the Small Business Administration, they must register by telephone to be eligible for federal and state disaster assistance programs," Williams said.
When calling to apply, have the following information available to cut down on application processing time:
- Your current phone number.
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are staying now (if different).
- Your Social Security number, if available.
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered.
- Good directions to the property that was damaged.
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name.
- General financial information.
According to Gair, individuals who suffered damage or loss and have insurance are also encouraged to call the application number immediately. "Even if some of the information listed is not available or think you may be covered by insurance, don't hesitate to call or prejudge your eligibility," he said. "It's important that all affected residents get the assistance they are entitled to."