New York, NY -- The fastest, most efficient way for people affected by the WTC attack to get disaster assistance is to make a single call to FEMA's toll-free registration line, state and federal disaster recovery officials emphasize.
"We want to assure people that there is assistance for all, for as long as they need help," said FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Ted Monette.
"We're here for the long-term, but we can't begin to help you until you call us," said State Coordinating Officer Edward F. Jacoby, Jr. "If we are unable to help, we know someone who can."
The number to call for federal and state assistance is 1-800-462-9029. Lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Those who are speech- or hearing- impaired should call TTY, 1-800-462-7585. Phone operators trained specifically to help victims of the WTC attack can register callers for federal and state assistance and provide information and referrals to resources offered by the city of New York and numerous voluntary agencies. Multilingual operators are available to assist callers in any language.
FEMA's use of a single toll-free registration number for the WTC attack uses a technique that is proven effective for the agency when dealing with large-scale natural disasters -- where thousands of people may be in need of help. Telephone registration is free and convenient to use. It eliminates the need for people to stand in line and fill out forms. It also enables experienced operators to more effectively help disaster victims, so that they can accurately assess needs and provide the best possible assistance.
FEMA, the state of New York, the city of New York and other voluntary agencies provide a range of assistance including grants for temporary housing or emergency repair; mortgage and rental assistance; individual and family grants to cover unmet needs; crisis counseling; medical bill coverage; disaster unemployment assistance; low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations. Small businesses may be eligible for working capital assistance.