Baltimore, MD - November 18, 2003, is the last day to register with the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance. Register by calling FEMA's toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). People with hearing or speech impairments can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. The telephone numbers are operational seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Applicants, whose businesses or homes and property were damaged by Hurricane Isabel, high winds and flooding that occurred between September 18 and September 29, 2003, 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) low-interest disaster loans.
Even if you have no apparent damage, hidden problems may surface later. If you register with FEMA now, before the deadline, and find later that you do need assistance, you will be registered in the system and we may be able to help you. After the deadline passes, you will not be able to apply for disaster assistance.
"These assistance programs are the primary funding sources to assist Hurricane Isabel victims who are not insured or were underinsured," said Maryland Department of Planning Secretary, Audrey Scott, who has oversight for the State recovery efforts. "Marylanders who need assistance and have not registered with FEMA should make every effort to contact the toll-free number before the November 18 deadline."
"Even after the November 18 deadline, if you have questions about your application, FEMA will be just a telephone call away," said Bill Lokey, federal coordinating officer.
Applicants may reach the FEMA Helpline by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, to answer questions about the assistance process or the status of applications. TTY service is available at 1-800-462-7585.
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.