Charleston, WV -- West Virginia residents who suffered damages to their personal or business properties in the recent floods should register for recovery assistance whether the losses were insured or not.
That's the word today from state and federal officials coordinating the disaster recovery effort.
"People should never rule themselves out for recovery assistance," said Carlos Mitchell of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Of the many state and federal programs designed to help people rebuild after a disaster, there may be one or more to meet needs not addressed in individuals' insurance coverage.
"Therefore," he continued, "it is imperative that everyone-insured or not-call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029."
Persons with speech or hearing impairments may apply for assistance by calling TTY 1-800-462-7585.
As recovery continues, people are discovering that the cost of cleanup and repairs may be more than they originally estimated. Their insurance settlements may not cover all the costs; or their homeowner's insurance doesn't cover floods; or they had no insurance at all.
"We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get registered," stressed Stephen S. Kappa, director of the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services who also is coordinating the state's recovery efforts.
"Do not prejudge your eligibility," he said. "Everyone affected by this disaster should apply."
Both disaster officials noted that structural damage may not be discovered until months after the disaster, another reason it is important to have a FEMA application on file. They reemphasized that the most important action flood survivors can take to begin the recovery process is to call the FEMA toll-free registration number. Again, that's 1-800-462-9029 or TTY 1-800-462-7585.