HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Residents and business owners in Blair, Crawford, Lackawanna, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Tioga, Venango, Warren and Wayne counties who sustained disaster-related damage between July 21 and Sept. 12 have only one more week to apply for federal and state assistance. Nov. 18, 2003 is the last day applications will be taken through the toll-free registration number. That also is the deadline for submitting loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property.
David M. Sanko, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, stressed the importance of registering for assistance. Director Sanko said, "The only way find out what disaster aid you may be eligible for is to call as soon as possible. This is the first step in getting disaster assistance."
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not already registered to apply as soon as possible by calling 1-800-621-3362. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons with TTY equipment may call 1-800-462-7585. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"Those who had losses as a result of the storms should register without delay," Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Davies said. "Even if you already repaired the damage or replaced the property, make the call. We may be able to reimburse you for eligible expenses."
Renters, homeowners or business owners in the designated counties with damage in the severe storms and flooding may be eligible for aid such as disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans, or grants for serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other programs.
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.