Mesa, AZ -- The Help Centers being operated by the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be closed on Sundays beginning July 21. They will continue to be open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to assist those affected by the Rodeo-Chediski fire.
The Help Centers are staffed by program specialists from the state, FEMA and the SBA who can give one-on-one help to understand what assistance may be available to individuals and businesses for recovery in the disaster-declared counties of Apache, Coconino, Gila and Navajo and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
ADEM Director Michael P. Austin reminded people affected by losses from the fire that they can continue to register for a variety of assistance programs by calling the FEMA toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) Monday -Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those with hearing or speech impairments should call TTY 1-800-462-7585. "Be sure to call to get the application process started," said Austin. "No assistance can be delivered until a person is registered."
The FEMA Disaster Helpline at the same number is also available Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to supply to individuals information about the disaster programs or the status of their registration.
Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman also reminded all applicants who have received U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan packets to fill them out and return them. "No one is going to force anyone to take a loan," she said, "but the loan applications may help determine individuals' eligibility for some state and federal programs."
The Arizona Division of Emergency Management coordinates emergency services and the efforts of governmental agencies to reduce the impact of disasters on persons and property through disaster mitigation programs and the coordination of federal, state and local government agencies to respond to, and recover from, disasters through training and emergency response planning.
FEMA is the federal agency that coordinates response efforts to federal disasters. The agency's 10 regional offices work directly with the states to help plan for disasters, develop mitigation programs and meet needs when disasters occur. FEMA Region IX serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.