Syracuse, NY -- New York State residents who were affected by the severe storms, floods and tornadoes that occurred between July 21 and August 13, 2003, have until October 28, 2003 to apply for the federal and state disaster aid programs triggered when President Bush declared a major disaster August 29, 2003, at the request of Governor George E. Pataki.
"Anyone who has not yet applied for their eligible disaster expenses should do so immediately," said Justo Hernández, federal coordinating officer for FEMA's disaster recovery operation "If you suffered any damage as a result of the summer storms, it is not to late to apply for the disaster aid you're entitled to."
To date, FEMA has approved more than $1.2 million for 698 homeowners, renters and businesses in the 30 days since the President issued his declaration. Under federal law, homeowners, renters and businesses, who suffered damages, have 60 days from the day the President declared the disaster to apply for disaster aid.
Those affected should register now by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TDD) for the hearing impaired. Both lines are open from 8:00a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week.
Disaster programs available to eligible homeowners, renters and businesses in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Livingston, Montgomery, Ontario, Rensselaer, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties include home repair; temporary housing; disaster-related needs for personal property losses; reimbursement for medical, dental and transportation expenses; and low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Edward Jacoby, Jr., State Coordinating Officer and Director of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), said, "We are doing everything possible to make sure everyone affected by the severe storms gets the disaster aid they are entitled to. Federal and state assistance is available, but storm victims must take that first step and apply."
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 Citizens Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.