Syracuse, NY -- Victims of the April 3-5 ice storm have less than two weeks to apply for the federal and state assistance programs triggered when President Bush declared a major disaster in 15 central and western New York counties, at the request of Governor George E. Pataki.
"The July 11th deadline to apply for disaster assistance is fast approaching and anyone who has not yet applied for help should do so immediately," said Marianne C. Jackson, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) disaster recovery operation.
Victims can register for assistance until July 11, 2003 by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Helpline will not be available on Friday, July 4, 2003 in observance of Independence Day.
Disaster programs available to eligible homeowners, renters and businesses in Cayuga, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Seneca and Wayne counties include: home repair; temporary housing; personal property losses; reimbursement for medical, dental and transportation expenses; and low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration.
Non-profit organizations and government entities in all 15 counties - Cayuga, Chenango, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Seneca, Schenectady, Wayne and Yates - may be eligible to recover costs for measures taken to save lives, ensure public health and safety, protect property, remove debris and repair infrastructure under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) program.
Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., State Coordinating Officer and Director of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), said all non-profit organizations - such as hospitals, nursing homes, volunteer fire departments, and schools - should apply to be reimbursed for the expenses they incurred dealing with the ice storm. Non-profit organizations with questions about the reimbursement process should call (518) 457-7082.
"Many non-profit organizations provided vital services to the people in their communities, during and after the storm," Jacoby said. "We commend them for the help they gave to their fellow friends and neighbors and encourage them to apply for reimbursement for any costs they might have incurred."
Jacoby also urged local government entities to help their taxpayers by ensuring their communities are fully reimbursed for overtime labor, equipment usage and other costs related to the disaster response and clean-up.
"Local governments should take the first step on the road to economic recovery and restoring their community's vitality by making sure they apply for all eligible assistance under FEMA's Public Assistance program," Jacoby said.