Washington, DC -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is continuing its extraordinary efforts to speed disaster assistance to flood victims in West Virginia.
"I have personally spoken with the members of West Virginia's congressional delegation and assured them that FEMA is doing everything in its power to help the people of West Virginia get back on their feet as quickly as possible," FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said.
The agency's special efforts on behalf of West Virginia began Monday with Allbaugh's recommendation that President Bush expand an existing disaster declaration, rather than issue a new declaration. The previous Presidential declaration was made on June 3 for severe storms and flooding.
"That step alone will save valuable days in the process of getting assistance to people who have lost their homes and livelihoods," Allbaugh said.
Assistance is available even to residents of communities that do not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Allbaugh said.
All individuals affected by flooding under this expanded declaration are eligible for temporary rental and mortgage assistance as well as other forms of assistance that include coverage of medical and dental expenses incurred due to the disaster. In addition, individuals and businesses who suffered losses and reside in a community that participates in the NFIP or who live in areas outside of the Special Flood Hazard Areas within non-participating communities are eligible for individual and family grants as well as low- interest disaster loans provided through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The West Virginia disaster incident period that was reopened means aid will be extended to help affected homeowners, renters and businesses in Boone, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Wayne and Wyoming counties originally affected by the flooding in late May as well as newly designated counties of Doddridge and Fayette.
Residents and business owners who suffered damages in all 20 counties from the latest 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., Monday through Saturday. Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call a special TTY number at 1-800-462-7585. Flood victims who previously registered for assistance due to damage from the May flooding and sustained additional damage from the latest flooding need to reapply through the registration line.