Akron, OH -- Disaster assistance has been made available in two Ohio counties--Jefferson and Franklin--to help homeowners, renters and businesses recover from the effects of the recent flooding in Ohio, the head of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Two other counties-Carroll and Monroe--have been made eligible for Public Assistance to provide aid for local governments affected by the recent storms in northeast Ohio. They had been included in the original declaration for the Individual Assistance programs.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA's Under Secretary, Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the assistance was approved based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. The counties were added for the aid under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on August 1, 2003.
"We remain committed to delivering assistance wherever it's needed and to making sure that every qualified individual and family receives the help they need to get back on the road to recovery," Brown said.
Affected residents and business owners in Jefferson and Franklin counties may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, August 29. Those who are speech- or hearing-impaired may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines will be closed starting Saturday, August 30 for the three-day Labor Day weekend. They will resume operations on Tuesday, September 2 and take calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, through September 30.
Brown said calling these numbers is the only way to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs that can include funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace real or personal property and housing repair; replacement grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and disaster unemployment assistance.
Callers are advised to have the following information available to help speed up the application process:
- Your current phone number
- Your Social Security number
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name
- General financial information; and
- Bank account code if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit.
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Residents should contact their insurance agent in addition to calling the FEMA registration number. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.
Disaster-designated counties are Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Jefferson, Mahoning, Medina, Monroe, Portage, Stark, Summit, and Trumbull.
DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INFORMATION
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to h...