New York, NY -- A Disaster Assistance Service Center is now open in lower Manhattan for individuals affected by the World Trade Center attack. Representatives of city, state, federal and voluntary agencies will staff the center Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. "We anticipate large crowds this first week," said Ted Monette, federal coordinating officer. "We plan to be here a long time because we're committed to staying until the need is met."
With the opening of the Disaster Assistance Service Center, New York City, the state of New York and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have brought together a range of disaster-related resources in one place. Located at 141 Worth St. at Centre Street, the center is easily accessible by public transportation and is handicap accessible. Professional childcare workers will be available during center hours of operation.
Visitors to the center are interviewed upon arrival and directed to representatives of the programs and services best able to meet their needs. "Because there are a number of agencies represented and a variety of resources available there, we hope that people will allow plenty of time for their visit to the center," said Monette.
"Those who visit the center will find staff from federal, state, city and voluntary agencies on hand," said Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., state coordinating officer. Agency representatives at the Disaster Assistance Service Center can provide advice and information on disaster housing and relocation, unemployment benefits, mental health counseling, low-interest disaster-related loans, legal and insurance issues, and more. Immediate financial assistance for food and clothing and emergency expenses are available. The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Safe Horizon, the city's Human Resources Administration, the state's Department of Labor, the U.S. Small Business Administration and FEMA are among the many groups represented at the center.
People affected by the disaster should first register for assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free teleregistration number: 1-800-462-9029. The line is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. For people who have a speech- or hearing-impairment, the TTY number is 1-800-462-7585. Multilingual operators can provide information in all languages. A phone bank has been set up at the Disaster Assistance Service Center with direct connection to FEMA registration specialists.
After visiting the Disaster Assistance Service Center, people are encouraged to return at any time or to call the FEMA Helpline, 1-800-525-0321 (TTY 1-800-462-7585 ) with follow-up questions or concerns.