Greeneville, TN -- A special toll-free telephone number is in operation for people affected by the recent severe storms and flooding to apply for disaster assistance. The number can be used to apply for a wide range of state, federal and voluntary disaster assistance programs, according to federal and state officials.
Those affected by the storms during the period July 27 through August 22, 2001, should apply for federal/state disaster assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Managements Agency's (FEMA) toll-free number at 1-800-462-9029. The hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (closed for Labor Day). Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585.
"We urge homeowners, renters, and businesses to call and apply for assistance," said John D. White Jr., state coordinating officer for response and recovery efforts. "Any individual or business who had uninsured or underinsured losses from the recent severe storms and flooding should really take that first step in the recovery process."
The designated counties are Carter, Cocke, Greene, Johnson, Shelby, Unicoi and Washington. This designation opens the way for a wide range of federal and state disaster assistance for the victims of the recent flooding.
Gracia Szczech, the federal official in charge of the recovery effort, stressed the importance of registering for assistance. She said, "The only way to find out what long-term disaster aid you may be eligible for is to call FEMA's toll-free Hotline, 1-800-462-9029, without delay. That is the first step in getting disaster assistance."
Federal disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate individuals for their entire loss. If an individual has insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under their insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other help may come in the form of loans to individuals and businesses. No grants are available to businesses.