"At this time in the recovery process, people are beginning to think about putting their lives back together," FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Ron Sherman said. "Right now people want information about the status of their applications for assistance or help filling out their disaster loan applications. They want to know what their options are for rebuilding, so they don't have to face the same disaster problems when severe storms strike again."
Some of the things people can accomplish at the centers include:
- Inquiring about the status of the application they have already made by phone
- Referrals for temporary rental assistance resources
- Assistance completing U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loan applications for homeowners, renters or business owners
- Referral information for other programs, such as Disaster Unemployment Assistance and
- Receive local, state and federal disaster tax assistance
- Receive referrals to American Red Cross and other voluntary organizations to help with immediate unmet needs.
- Learn common-sense measures to reduce the impact of future disasters, including
proper tree maintenance to help reduce damage from ice storms
"The center will be open for a limited time," Ohio EMA State Coordinating Officer Dale Shipley said. "We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to have their questions answered about disaster assistance and learn what they can do to avoid damages from winter storms in the future."
The first step in receiving state and federal assistance made available under the March 14 Presidential disaster declaration is to register by calling the toll-free FEMA application number,
1-800-621-FEMA (3362). There is also a special number, TTY 1-800-462-7585, for the speech or hearing impaired. Both lines are open 8 a.m to 6 p.m. daily until further notice.
Individuals who are unable to visit a center and have questions about disaster assistance, rebuilding or preventive measures to avoid future damages are urged to call the same numbers and select the option for "General Information."