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Disaster Assistance Available

Release date: 
December 17, 2002
Release Number: 

Columbus, OH -- Residents and business owners in Cuyahoga and Summit counties who suffered damages from the tornadoes and severe storms on November 10 may apply for assistance by calling the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice. Those who are speech and hearing-impaired may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.

The following overview summarizes assistance information for those residents in Cuyahoga, Hancock, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Summit and Van Wert counties who suffered property damage or loss as a result of the tornadoes and severe storms of November 10.

Disaster assistance available for uninsured and under-insured

If you were uninsured or your insurance policy did not cover some of your disaster-related damages or losses, FEMA may be able to help.

Disaster assistance is designed to cover uninsured and under-insured disaster-related losses, but cannot duplicate services and funds compensated by an insurance claim or provided by another assistance program.

The disaster programs available include temporary housing, repair grants to make a home liveable, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters or business owners and other aid programs, including disaster unemployment assistance for self-employed individuals.

Uninsured and under-insured losses that may be covered by SBA low-interest loans include debris removal on personal property, damaged and destroyed fences, tree trimming services, damaged and destroyed sheds and other outbuildings, tree replacement and landscaping losses.

Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally 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.


Self-employed people, farm workers and others who are unemployed as a result of the November 10 tornadoes and severe storms may be eligible for federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) benefits. The availability of this program was triggered by President Bush's November 18 disaster declaration and extends to those living or working in any of the eight counties eligible for individual assistance: Cuyahoga, Hancock, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Summit and Van Wert. The program is administered by the state and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Eligible persons include: self-employed agricultural and hourly workers; self-employed business people; business owners unable to provide services; and people who, as a result of the disaster no longer have a job, are unable to reach their place of employment, were to have started new employment but cannot, have become the major supporter for a household because the head of household died in the disaster; or cannot work because of injury. Individuals who have exhausted unemployment eligibility may also qualify for these benefits.

Those interested in applying for disaster unemployment assistance, should call toll-free 1-877-644-6562 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or apply in person at Ohio Department of Job and Family Services local offices. Applicants should be prepared to provide a Social Security number and driver license or state ID number and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all employers within the last 18 months. It is not necessary to registe...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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