Kansas City, MO. -- State and federal officials encourage any Missourians who suffered damage or losses from the recent winter ice storm to apply for assistance as soon as possible. Individuals are urged not to prejudge their eligibility for the variety of programs and services offered under the recent Presidential declaration.
"People should not make any assumptions about their eligibility for disaster assistance before talking to the recovery specialists," said William Lokey, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Disaster-relief programs are funded by taxpayer money set aside just for this purpose," Lokey said. "But we can't help people who don't register for help."
Because there is typically a 60-day registration period, officials ask that anyone who was affected by the storm register as soon as possible. Missourians affected by the ice storm should call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance. Those who are speech- or hearing-impaired can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free application number is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.
"It's easy, efficient, and the only way to begin the process of helping us to help you," explains Lokey. "Not registering for assistance only disqualifies people from accessing programs and funding that can make a real difference in the recovery process."
The various programs and services offered by FEMA and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency include financial assistance to pay for temporary housing, emergency repairs or rebuilding, mortgage, rental costs, and individual and family grants to cover serious unmet needs. Low-interest disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for uninsured damages to homes, personal property and businesses.