Disaster Assistance Does Not Take A Holiday; Phone Lines Open Over Columbus Day Weekend

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Release date: 
October 10, 2002
Release Number: 
1433-17

Indianapolis, IN -- Although banks, post offices and most federal and state agencies will be closed Monday to celebrate Columbus Day, disaster recovery specialists will still be on duty. Indiana residents affected by the tornadoes and severe storms can apply for assistance simply by picking up the phone and placing a call.

The toll-free application line, three joint disaster recovery centers, and a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) workshop will maintain regular operating hours on Monday (October 14), according to officials from the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"Calling FEMA's toll-free application line is the only way to apply for disaster assistance," Bill Lokey, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer, said. "Hoosiers still have time to apply. It's a one-step, one call process that can be completed from the privacy of your home."

The deadline to apply for assistance is November 25, which is 60 days from the date that President Bush issued the disaster declaration on September 25.

State Coordinating Officer Patrick R. Ralston urged everyone who suffered damage to call: "The sooner you call to apply for assistance, the sooner you may receive financial assistance for eligible losses."

Disaster recovery officials advise that you do not have to visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to complete the application process. People have the option of visiting one of the centers currently operating in the declared areas for additional assistance and information or if they want to talk face-to-face with disaster recovery specialists.

As of Monday, October 14, DRCs open for business will be located at Warren Township Center at 501 N. Post Road, Perry Township Government Center at 4925 Shelby Street, and Morgan County Emergency Management Agency, 1789 E. Morgan Street, Martinsville. The hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The SBA workshop is located at Wadesville Fire Department (corner of Princeton and Main) in Poseyville, and will be open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
A FEMA representative will also be available at the workshop.

Those affected by the tornadoes and severe storms of September 20 can apply for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free application, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EST) seven days a week.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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