Findlay, OH -- Disaster assistance for Cuyahoga and Summit counties has been made available to help homeowners, renters and business owners recover from the effects of the November 10 tornadoes and severe storms in Ohio, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was approved based on a review of damage data gathered by state disaster recovery officials. The counties were added for the aid under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on November 18, 2002.
"We remain committed to delivering assistance wherever it's needed and to making sure that every qualified individual and family receives the help they need to get back on the road to recovery," Allbaugh said.
Affected residents and business owners in Cuyahoga and Summit counties may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday until further notice. Those who are speech or hearing impaired may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Allbaugh said calling these numbers is the only way to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs that can include funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace real or personal property and housing repair; grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and disaster unemployment assistance.
Callers are advised to have the following information available to help speed up the application process:
- Your current phone number;
- Your Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered;
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name;
- General financial information; and
- Bank account code if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit.
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and normally will not compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Residents should contact their insurance agent first, then if they have unmet needs they should call FEMA to apply. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.
The disaster-designated counties in Ohio are Cuyahoga, Hancock, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Summit and Van Wert
DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INFORMATION
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to help people through the recovery process. The types of assistance that are available follow.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs
INDIVIDUALS and HOUSEHOLDS PROGRAM: Housing assistance to individuals and families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the (Disaster Type). Types of aid include grants for (1) temporary rental housing; (2) essential repairs needed to make a residence safe, secure and sanitary; (3) mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship; and (4) to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and disaster unemployment assistance.
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