Beaver, WV -- A special toll-free telephone number is in operation for people affected by the severe storms, flooding and landslides of May 2 and continuing to apply for disaster assistance. The number can be used to register for a wide range of state, federal and voluntary disaster assistance programs, according to federal and state officials.
Those affected may apply for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Managements Agency's (FEMA) toll-free number at 1-800-621-3362. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585.
"We urge homeowners, renters, and businesses to call and apply for assistance," said Justo Hernandez, federal coordinating officer for response and recovery efforts. "Any individual or business who was affected by the disaster should really take that first step in the recovery process."
President George W. Bush designated four counties in West Virginia major disaster areas on May 5 following the recent severe storms, flooding, and landslides. The designation opens the way for a wide range of federal and state disaster assistance for thohse who suffered damage in McDowell, Mercer, Mingo and Wyoming Counties.
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate individuals for their entire loss. If an individual has insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under their insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other help may come in the form of loans.