Wise, VA -- Federal and state officials have established a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Wise County to assist victims of severe storms and flash flooding in March.
The center will be adjacent to the Wise County Hazmat command post, 5701 Industrial Park Rd., in Wise.
The DRC will open Thursday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. After opening day, the hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
At the center, disaster recovery specialists will provide assistance and answer questions from residents who have experienced damages and losses from the severe storms and flash flooding March 17-20. A presidential disaster declaration was issued April 2.
Residents in the eight declared counties and the city of Norton who have already registered by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362), are not required to visit a DRC. However, if they want to talk about their application face-to-face, they should visit the DRC and bring their registration number with them.
DRC specialists will provide information on disaster programs including: grants to pay for temporary housing needs, minimal home repairs and other serious disaster related expenses. Residents and business owners also may be eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance. A FEMA mitigation specialist will also be at the center to provide help in longer term flood-damage solutions.
Virginia will provide information at the center on legal services, state tax assistance, disaster unemployment assistance and social services programs. Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage to their homes, personal property or business from the March storms, are encouraged to call the FEMA toll-free registration number to register for assistance. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments who use special keyboard equipment (TTY) should call toll-free 1-800-462-7585. The center will also be accessible for those with physical disabilities.
The declaration covers the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise and the independent city of Norton.