Chicago, IL -- At the request of Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, four counties and an Indian reservation were added to a disaster declaration issued by President Clinton June 23 for seven southern counties. The addition of Becker, Clay, Mahnomen and Norman counties and the White Earth Reservation makes disaster assistance available to individuals and communities.
A toll-free application telephone number is now operational for those individuals and businesses who suffered property damage or loss in the four declared counties and reservation affected by the mid-June severe storms and flooding. The number can be used to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance.
Theodore Monette, Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Kevin Leuer, State Coordinating Officer, Minnesota Division of Emergency Management Agency, said those impacted by flooding may apply for assistance immediately by calling this toll-free registration number, 1 800 462-9029 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (CDT) daily, until further notice. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call TDD 1 800 462-7585. These numbers will be available this weekend and on July 4.
The addition to the declaration makes residents of these counties eligible for a wide range of programs such as funding for disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
"Phone-in application has proven to be the simplest, quickest and most efficient way to apply. Your phone call is your application for state and federal assistance available under the disaster declaration," said FEMA's Monette.
When calling to apply have the following information available:
- Your current phone number.
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying.
- 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 Leuer, individuals who have suffered damage and have unmet needs are encouraged to call the application number immediately. "Even if you don't have all the information necessary or it was lost in the flooding, don't hesitate to call and don't prejudge your eligibility," he said. "It's important that all impacted residents get the assistance they are entitled to."
Under this amendment to the Presidential declaration issued June 23, federal funds will be provided for affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for restoring damaged public facilities and for approved projects that mitigate future disaster losses. State and local governments can apply for federal funds on a cost-shared basis for approved mitigation projects.