Emporia, Kan. -- For residents wishing to meet with disaster assistance program specialists the time to visit the Disaster Recovery Centers is now. State and federal officials have announced that the Argentine and Overland Park Centers will be closing on Wednesday, March 6, at the end of the day. The centers were established to provide residents with information on disaster assistance for damages resulting from the severe ice storms that began Jan. 29.
"The decrease in the number of visits to the centers is a good indication that people have had their questions answered about disaster assistance programs," said Chuck Bredahl, state coordinating officer. "Residents who want to talk to program specialists face-to-face still have time to visit."
Persons can get answers to questions and check on the status of their applications at the Disaster Recovery Centers. The centers are located at:
Overland Park, KS
National American University
Overland Park Extension
Kansas City, KS
Argentine Community Center
2800 Metropolitan Ave
Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Even though the centers will be closing, help is still as close as a telephone call. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains a toll-free disaster phone line. To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Anyone with questions about assistance programs or the status of their applications may call the same number for answers. Those who are hearing or speech-impaired can call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The telephone numbers are operational from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Since the Feb. 6 federal disaster declaration, 6,405 people have registered for disaster assistance. The Disaster Recovery Centers have provided assistance and information to 171 visitors.
Disaster assistance programs include housing assistance, grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other programs, and low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for residential and business property. Disaster unemployment assistance and other services are also available to persons affected by the disaster.