BALTIMORE -- Federal officials announced today that they have granted Maryland's request to extend the disaster assistance application period for damages from Hurricane Isabel. The new deadline is December 8, 2003.
"We hope this extra time will ensure that everyone who suffered damage and losses from Hurricane Isabel will get the federal and state assistance they need to begin the process of rebuilding their lives," said Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Lokey.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended the registration period from November 18 to December 8, 2003.
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.
To date, 16,431 Marylanders have registered for assistance with FEMA. Thus far, $19,455,735 has been given to residents to assist with temporary housing and home repairs; $6,483,670 in Other Needs Assistance, which provides money for necessary expenses and serious needs not covered by insurance such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property or transportation, has been disbursed. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved 969 loans amounting to $35,585,200.
The registration number is 1 800 621 FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. The lines are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All 23 counties and the City of Baltimore are included in the disaster designation. Homeowners, renters and business in Maryland who suffered damages are eligible to apply for assistance until the December 8 deadline.
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.