Kokomo, IN -- Only two weeks remain for those who have yet to call and apply for federal disaster assistance and the final two Disaster Recovery Centers operating in the affected areas will be closing Wednesday, August 27, disaster recovery officials announced today.
September 9 is the last day to apply for disaster assistance. Individuals and business owners affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred between July 4 and August 6 should apply as soon as possible by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free number,
1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The special number for those with hearing or speech impairment is
TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are operational 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
"Don't assume you aren't eligible for assistance," Patrick R. Ralston, Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) state coordinating officer, said. "We don't want to miss anyone who has been affected by the disaster who may need help in the recovery process."
Even if you have insurance, you may be eligible for disaster assistance. In order to complete an application, however, FEMA will need the resident's insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits.
As part of the recovery process, 2,475 Hoosiers have taken the opportunity to visit with recovery specialists at one of the 12 joint Disaster Recovery Centers that operated in the state. The centers operating in Kokomo (Johanning Civic Center, 1500 N. Reed Road) and in Crown Point (Lake County EMA office, 2900 West 93rd Avenue) will close on Wednesday, August, 27, at 6:30 p.m.
"After the Disaster Recovery Centers close, assistance is still only a toll-free phone call away," Thomas J. Costello, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said. "FEMA will continue to process assistance applications, but the deadline to call and apply is Tuesday, September 9."
Assistance available to disaster victims includes grants for temporary disaster housing; repairing disaster-damaged, uninsured homes to a safe and sanitary living condition, and for serious, disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property.
September 9 is the final day to call and apply for disaster assistance for all those affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred between July 4 and August 6 in the following Indiana counties designated eligible for Individual Assistance: Adams, Allen, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Delaware, Fountain, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Jay, Lake, Kosciusko, Madison, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Parke, Porter, Pulaski, Randolph, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Wells, White, and Whitley.
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.