Greeneville, TN -- Individuals, families and businesses located in seven Tennessee counties affected by severe storms and flooding which occurred during the period July 27 through August 22, 2001, are now eligible to apply for federal assistance, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
The designated counties are: Carter, Cocke, Greene, Johnson, Shelby, Unicoi and Washington.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the individual assistance was approved based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. Cocke, Greene, Johnson and Washington Counties were previously designated for public (infrastructure) assistance under the original major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on August 15. Carter and Unicoi Counties were added for public assistance on August 21, following a review of damage data.
"We remain committed to delivering assistance whenever it's needed and to making sure that every individual and family receives the help they need to get back on the road to recovery," Allbaugh said.
Affected residents and business owners may apply for assistance immediately by calling the FEMA toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (closed Labor Day weekend). Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call a special TTY number at 1-800-462-7585.
Gracia Szczech, the FEMA federal coordinating official for disaster relief in Tennessee, said, "Calling these phone numbers - 1-800-462-9029 or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing impaired - first is the only way to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs. These programs include funding for temporary housing, 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 needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs.
"You might think of this registration phone number as a one-stop shopping center for long-term disaster recovery," Szczech added.
Callers are asked to have the following information available to help speed up the application process:
- 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.
Disaster Assistance Program Information
When disaster strikes, FEMA administers a number of disaster programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to help people through the recovery process. The types of assistance include the following.
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: alternate rental housing; emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable; and mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship.
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY GRANT PROGRAM: Grants to individuals and families to met serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other federal, state or voluntary agency disaster assistance programs.
DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: Weekly benefits to individuals out of work due to the disaster, including self-employed persons, farm owners and others not usually covered under regular unemployment in...