State and federal disaster recovery officials are urging homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered damage from Hurricane Isabel, to apply by calling the U.S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency?s (FEMA) toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for speech and hearing impaired. Registration lines are answered from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.
Applicants may qualify for assistance under several federal and state programs such as disaster housing assistance, grants to meet disaster-related needs and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans.
?Even after the deadline, if you have questions about your application, FEMA will still be just a phone call away,? said William Lokey, federal official in charge of disaster recovery. The registration line also serves as the FEMA helpline. Those who have questions or need information may reach FEMA by calling toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for speech and hearing impaired and choose the helpline option.
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.