Disaster Officials Offer Tips To Speed Assistance

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Release date: 
July 23, 2001
Release Number: 
1386-08

Tazewell, VA -- Disaster recovery officials overseeing efforts to assist flood-stricken residents in Tazewell County suggested several actions that individuals should take to accelerate the possibility of obtaining state and federal disaster aid:

  • Register as soon as possible. Homeowners, renters, and business owners who suffered flood losses must call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free registration line at 1-800-462-9029 to be eligible for disaster assistance. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments who use special keyboard equipment (TTY) should call toll-free 1-800-462-7585. The lines are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week until further notice;

  • Register, even if you are insured. Your insurance coverage may not be adequate and some storm-related damages may not show up until later. Anyone who suffered any damage or loss in the storm should register for assistance;

  • Remember, disaster assistance covers a wide range of flood losses. Disaster-related damage, or loss, of essential personal property, anything from a wheelchair to a major appliance, may qualify for some form of federal/state assistance;

  • Flood-related damage is not limited to your home. Financial aid is available to pump out, repair, or even replace septic tanks if there is permanent flood-related damage:

    • Homeowners with private wells that were rendered useless by floodwaters can be eligible for federal aid if the well is their only source of water. If homes become inaccessible due to storm-related damage to private bridges or roads, those access repairs are also eligible for aid;

    • Renters forced to vacate homes without useable wells or septic tanks may apply for rental assistance to relocate temporarily while repairs are made;

  • Stay in touch throughout the process. After you have registered for disaster housing assistance, a FEMA inspector will make an appointment to visit your home, usually within 3-5 days. Make every effort to be at home or call to change the appointment if you can't be there by calling the FEMA Helpline, 1-800-525-0321, (TTY) 1-800-462-7585;

  • Visit a Disaster Recovery Center if you have questions or need more information. A fixed-site center is at 607 Market Street, North Tazewell, open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m., until further notice. A mobile recovery center will make stops in Bluefield, July 27-28, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Pocahontas on July 29, noon-6 p.m., and Bishop on July 30, 10 a.m. - 6.p.m.;

  • Return all forms promptly. After registering, you may receive a U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loan package in the mail. Fill out and return these forms promptly, since they are an essential part of the disaster-assistance process.

  • Rebuild with disaster prevention in mind. If you receive an emergency housing repair grant from FEMA, a follow-up letter will arrive soon after you receive your check. That letter will identify the purpose of the grant and will highlight the need to make repairs that will lessen the risks of future losses. Examples include raising electrical junction boxes and elevating major appliances to minimize floodwater damage.
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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