Olympia, WA -- Federal and state officials announced today that the deadline to register for Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans has been extended another month. Anyone who suffered damage in the Feb. 28 Nisqually Earthquake now has until June 30 to register.
Officials note that this is a record-setting disaster recovery operation. "The nearly 30,000 individual registrations for the Nisqually disaster aid are more than double the number for any previous Washington disaster," said Diane Offord, state coordinating officer. "The registration extension is necessary to help the large number of Washington residents and businesses who suffered damage in the earthquake."
As people impacted continue to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration number at a rate of more than 200 a day, officials begin to suspect damages are still coming to light or smaller problems are continuing to worsen.
"Please check your property again," says Bill Lokey, federal coordinating officer. "Look for cracks in walls, doors that don't close easily, unexplained debris in the fireplace. If your building looks like it's tilting, it may be evidence of a problem in the foundation. If your property shakes more than usual when big trucks drive by, you might consider giving FEMA a call."
Residents are urged to not overlook earthquake damage and should call the toll-free registration line 1-800-462-9029 to register. Persons with speech or hearing impairments can call the TTY line, 1-800-462-7585. Those who have already registered should call the FEMA Helpline to report any additional property damage: 1-800-525-0321 (TTY at 1-800-462-7585). These lines are staffed 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The new deadline applies to anyone in either the counties or the tribes declared for assistance. The 22 counties eligible for Individual Assistance are Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom, Wahkiakum, and Yakima. All counties were automatically made eligible for Hazard Mitigation assistance with the original disaster declaration.
Public Assistance is available to help applicants in 15 counties repair damaged infrastructure: Clallam, Cowlitz, Douglas, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Thurston, Snohomish, Whatcom and Walla Walla.
Indian tribal governments eligible for Public Assistance and Individual Assistance funding include the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, Lower Elwha, Lummi Nation, Makah Tribe, Muckleshoot Tribe, Nisqually Tribe, Nooksack Tribe, Port amble Indian Community, Puyallup Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Quinault Nation, Samish Nation, Sauk-Suiattle Tribe, Shoalwater Bay Tribe, Skokomish Tribe, Snoqualmie Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Swinomish Tribe, The Tulalip Tribes, and the Upper Skagit Tribe.
The Hoh Tribe, and Yakama Nation are eligible for Individual Assistance only.
Applicants may qualify for assistance under several federal and state programs such as temporary disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes or grants to meet disaster-related needs not covered by other programs.