Columbus, OH -- A toll-free application telephone number is now operational for victims in Greene County who suffered property damage or losses caused by the September 20 tornado and severe storms. Even if individuals have reported damage to local officials or have registered with voluntary agencies such as the Red Cross, they need to register with the FEMA teleregistration number to be eligible for federal and state programs.
Louis Botta, Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Dale W. Shipley, State Coordinating Officer, Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA), said those affected by the disaster may apply for assistance immediately by calling this toll-free application number, 800-462-9029, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (ET) seven days a week until further notice. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 800-462-7585.
In response to a request from Governor Robert Taft, made Monday, September 25, President Clinton signed a major disaster declaration Tuesday, September 25. The declaration designated Greene County eligible for federal aid to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners.
The declaration makes residents of the county 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 need and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
Residents and businesses that suffered damage or loss and have insurance coverage should first contact their insurance company. If they find they have unmet needs they should apply for disaster assistance. "Your phone call is your application for state and federal assistance available under the disaster declaration. Telephone application has proven to be the simplest, quickest and most efficient way to apply," Shipley said.
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 Botta, 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 tornado, don't prejudge your eligibility," he said. "It's important that all residents, renters as well as homeowners, get the assistance they are entitled to."
Disaster Assistance Program Information
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to help people through the recovery process. The types of assistance that are available follow:
Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs
Disaster Housing Assistance: Housing assistance to individuals and families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Types of aid include grants for: (1) alternate rental housing; (2) emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable; and (3) mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship.
Individual and Family Grant Program: Provides grants t...