Beckley, WV -- July 5 is the last day to apply for state and federal help in dealing with May's severe storms and flooding, officials said. More than 5,750 West Virginians have registered thus far.
"Help is available but folks do need to let us know they need help. They need to make a telephone call to get it started: If you need help recovering from last month's disaster1-800-621-FEMA (3362)," Steve Kappa said. "The call's free." Kappa is director of the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services and heads the West Virginia side of the joint state/federal disaster response.
"Right now is the best time to make that call," said Justo Hernandez. President Bush named Hernandez federal coordinating officer for the disaster, to serve as Kappa's federal partner. "Lines are open 8 a.m. through 6 p.m., Monday through Friday," he said. Those with difficulty hearing or speaking can dial the TTY registration number: 1-800-462-7585.
"July 5 will be here real soon," added Kappa. "Better get that phone call to FEMA to register before it is too late for us to get people the assistance they need."
Renters, homeowners or business owners who live or do business within the six-county disaster area declared by President Bush may be eligible for disaster aid. The six counties are Kanawha, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Raleigh and Wyoming.
Applicants may qualify for assistance under state and federal programs such as grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for temporary housing assistance, low-interest-rate disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and grants from the Individual and Family Grant Program administered by the state to meet additional disaster-related needs.
SBA loan applications must be completed and returned to SBA by July 5.
Small businesses in both the primary and adjoining counties applying to the SBA for Economic Injury Disaster Loans have until Feb. 5, 2003, to submit applications. The primary counties eligible in West Virginia are: Kanawha, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Raleigh and Wyoming; eligible adjoining counties are: Virginia counties -- Bland, Buchanan, Giles, Tazewell; Kentucky counties -- Martin and Pike; West Virginia counties - Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Summers, Clay, Fayette, Jackson, Nicholas, Putnam, Roane and Wayne.
For answers to questions about the disaster assistance programs or the location of Disaster Recovery Centers in West Virginia call the Disaster Information Helpline: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Note: The toll-free application number and the Helpline are the same. Those with difficulty hearing or speaking can dial the TTY line at 1-800-462-7585.