Albany, NY -- The first checks were mailed today to 118 victims of the April 20 Ausable Forks earthquake, just days after President Bush designated Clinton and Essex counties eligible for federal disaster assistance. Almost $133,000 was distributed to help individuals whose homes were damaged in the 5.3 quake.
"We're glad this program is there for homeowners and renters whose homes were damaged by the earthquake," said State Coordinating Officer Edward F. Jacoby, Jr. "Most of these initial checks are for repairing foundations and chimneys."
"These checks are just the first of many that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expects to distribute to the earthquake victims whose homes and businesses were damaged," said Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne Jackson. "We have seven inspectors in the two counties working hard to expedite assistance."
"People who think their property may be damaged as a result of the earthquake should call FEMA's toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) today," Jackson noted. "Since earthquake damage is often hidden and hard to detect, we like to send knowledgeable inspectors to check thoroughly for hidden damages."
The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Available assistance includes grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Aid also may include U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations.