Lynchburg, VA -- The federal-state Disaster Recovery Centers in Southwest Virginia will close on Saturday, April 26 after a final week of assisting applicants for recovery aid. The four centers - in Salem, Grundy and Wise, and the latest in Clintwood - have been visited by more than 270 residents who suffered losses as a result of February's severe winter storms and flooding.
Help for disaster-related expenses will remain available when the centers close. Residents can continue to call FEMA's toll-free line, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with hearing or speech impairments can call TTY at 1-800-462-7585.
"We want to encourage anyone who has questions or doubts on eligibility for aid to come to the centers while they remain open," said Justo Hernandez, federal coordinating officer. "We don't want to miss anybody who needs help."
In all, more than 900 people have registered with FEMA since President Bush declared nine localities in Southwest Virginia eligible for aid to individuals and businesses on March 27. Checks for more than $900,000 have been approved in response to the registrations and visits to the disaster recovery centers.
It is not necessary to visit a disaster center to receive aid. Applications can be prepared and inspectors dispatched on FEMA's toll-free line. But more personalized service is available at the centers. FEMA provides assistance to individuals for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-income loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are also available to individuals and businesses.