Nashville, TN -- Tennesseeans who sustained storm damage during the July 21st - 22nd severe storms, high winds and heavy rain should consider applying for federal/state disaster assistance whether or not they have settled with their insurance company, disaster officials said today.
Recovery officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) urge everyone with storm losses to apply for disaster aid to protect against unpleasant surprises.
James H. Bassham, TEMA's state coordinating officer, said, "There have been cases where unexpected losses appear after insurance claims are paid. Applying for assistance with FEMA provides a safeguard against unexpected storm damage costs occurring after insurance settlement has been paid."
State and federal disaster assistance covers uninsured losses only and has no effect on the homeowner's insurance policies.
Charles M. Butler, the federal official in charge of disaster recovery, added, "Why not protect yourself while you still have time to do so. It takes only a few minutes to apply over FEMA's toll-free telephone line, 1-800-621-3362. The hearing or speech impaired should call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Operators are available to serve applicants every day, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m."
Residents of Fayette and Shelby counties who were affected by the July severe weather are eligible to apply for federal and state disaster assistance.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.