RICHMOND, Va. -- Residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia whose businesses or homes and property were damaged by Hurricane Isabel have only two more weeks to apply for assistance, federal and state officials announced today.
December 8, 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 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Applicants, whose businesses or homes and property were located in jurisdictions declared disaster areas in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 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.
"These assistance programs are the primary funding sources to assist Hurricane Isabel victims who are not insured or were underinsured," said Michael Cline, state coordinating officer. "Virginians who need assistance and have not registered with FEMA should make every effort to contact the toll-free number and register before the December 8 deadline."
Applicants may reach the FEMA Helpline by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 8 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.
"Even after the December 8 deadline, if you have questions about your application, FEMA will be just a telephone call away," said Louis Botta, federal coordinating officer.
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.