Indianapolis, IN -- A toll-free application telephone number is now operational for those who suffered property damage or loss in the declared counties affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding of July 4 and continuing. Even if residents have already registered with a local voluntary agency, they need to call the FEMA teleregistration number to be eligible for disaster assistance programs.
Thomas J. Costello, federal coordinating officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Patrick R. Ralston, state coordinating officer, Indiana State Emergency Management (SEMA), said those affected by the disaster may apply for assistance immediately by calling this toll-free application number, 1- 800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, until further notice.
In response to a request from Governor Frank O'Bannon on July 8, President Bush signed a major disaster declaration July 11. The declaration designated the following counties eligible for federal aid to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners: Adams, Allen, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Delaware, Fountain, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Jay, Kosciusko, Madison, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Noble, Pulaski, Randolph, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Wells, White and Whitley.
The declaration makes residents of these counties eligible for a wide range of programs such as funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs, and disaster unemployment assistance.
"At this time, people need to take care of their safety concerns and housing needs," Costello said. "Then when they have assessed their damage, they should call the application line at 1-800-621-FEMA."
Residents and business owners who suffered damage or loss and have insurance coverage should first contact their insurance company. If they find they have unmet needs they should apply for disaster assistance.
"Your phone call is your application for disaster assistance available under the disaster declaration. Telephone application has proven to be the simplest, quickest and most efficient way to apply," Ralston said.
Before you call to apply, it is helpful to have the following information ready:
- Your current phone number
- Your Social Security number
- A list of damages and losses you suffered
- The name of your insurance company and your policy number
- Bank account coding if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit
"Don't prejudge your eligibility; even if you don't have all the information necessary or it was lost in the flooding. We want residents to call the toll-free teleregistration number to get the assistance they are entitled to," Ralston said.
DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INFORMATION
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to help people through the recovery process. The types of assistance that are available include:
Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs
INDIVIDUALS and HOUSEHOLDS PROGRAM: Housing assistance to individuals and families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. Types of aid include grants f...