Springfield, MO -- Residents in Jefferson County will have a few extra days to visit the joint Disaster Recovery Center in De Soto, which will remain open through Thursday, June 26, according to an announcement by state and federal disaster officials today.
"Though originally scheduled to close on Saturday (June 21), more than 130 disaster applicants have visited the center in the last week," explained Mike Karl, federal coordinating officer for the recovery effort. "That is a pretty clear indication people still need the opportunity to sit down and talk face-to-face with recovery specialists."
The De Soto DRC, located in the Redeemer Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 1620 Boyd Street, will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and close at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 26.
More than 740 applicants have visited the center since it opened almost a month ago. Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinate the operation of the temporary center.
"Many residents have been visiting the center this week to update their applications with insurance information," said Jerry Uhlmann, state coordinating officer for SEMA. "Some of those initial applications could not be completed until a final insurance settlement was determined to avoid a duplication of benefits."
Visiting a center is not required and assistance will still be only a toll-free phone call away. However, the center provides an opportunity for disaster applicants to get hands-on help with their specific disaster-related questions and tasks, such as filling out disaster loan applications with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or updating their application with FEMA.
Before visiting the center, recovery officials encourage those affected by the May tornadoes, severe storms and flooding, which occurred between May 4 and May 30, to apply for disaster assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Persons who are hearing- or speech-impaired can apply by calling a TTY number: 1-800-462-7585. Multilingual operators also are available when needed. The application deadline is July 7, 2003.