BALTIMORE, Md. -- State and federal disaster assistance has been available seven days a week since Hurricane Isabel struck Maryland. On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, the toll-free registration and Help line and the two Disaster Recovery Centers still operating in Maryland will be closed.
The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) disaster assistance registration line will close on Wednesday, November 26 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time; operators will resume taking calls at 7 a.m. Friday, November 28.
Two Disaster Recovery Centers operating in Maryland will also be closed on Thursday:
The centers will resume normal operating hours Friday, November 28 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday).
Homeowners, renters and business owners in Maryland are urged to register with FEMA prior to the deadline, December 8, 2003. To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week, except Thanksgiving. The hearing and speech impaired can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Applicants may qualify for assistance under several federal and state programs such as disaster housing assistance and U. S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans.
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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.