Mesa, AZ -- Hours of operation are being cut back for state-federal help centers assisting those affected by the Rodeo-Chediski fires, officials have announced. New hours for the help centers in Heber and Show Low are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, through August 26.
"The centers are staffed with representatives of federal and state agencies who will provide information and answer questions about the assistance available to residents and businesses affected by the Rodeo-Chediski fire," said Michael P. Austin, director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM). "The centers are open to everyone. To be eligible for federal disaster assistance, homeowners, renters and businesses must have suffered damages in the counties of Apache, Coconino, Gila and Navajo or the Fort Apache Indian Reservation."
FEMA's disaster assistance is intended to cover basic needs and necessary expenses and in most cases will not compensate individuals for their entire loss. For instance, federal law limits housing assistance to losses associated with a person's primary residence and precludes secondary homes. Disaster assistance is like a safety net; it is intended to assist those affected by the disaster on their road to recovery.
"People affected by the disaster are urged to start the application process by calling toll-free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with hearing or speech impairments may call TTY 1-800-462-7585 to apply," said Sandy Coachman, federal coordinating officer.
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.
SBA low interest disaster loans are the primary source of federal funds for repairing or rebuilding disaster damage to private property owned by homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.