Nashville, TN - Fayette and Shelby County residents and business owners who suffered losses in the severe storms, high winds and heavy rain occurring July 21st - 22nd have less than one month left in which to apply for federal/state disaster recovery assistance. More than 20,000 individuals have applied for assistance to date. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will accept applications through September 29 from those in the two disaster-designated counties. The deadline for submitting loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property is also September 29.
Charles M. Butler, federal coordinating officer, FEMA, stated, "We want people to understand that these are application deadlines. The requests for assistance from individuals who have already applied will continue to be processed, but by law we cannot accept any new applications after the September 29 date.".
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Director James H. Bassham said he hopes everyone who needs recovery assistance will be reached..
"We're in constant contact with the news media and FEMA/TEMA community relations personnel are reaching out to people in isolated areas," he said. "But we depend a lot on friends, family and neighbors to encourage people who have suffered losses and need assistance to call the FEMA application number," Bassham added..
Butler and Bassham urge those who have not yet applied for disaster assistance to do so as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY application number at 1-800-462-7585. Phone lines are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time, Monday through Friday..
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.