RICHMOND, Va. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) disaster assistance registration line will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, 2003. Operators will resume again at 7 a.m. the following day, Friday, November 28.
"The registration and Helpline will close on Wednesday, November 26 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time," said Louis Botta, federal coordinating officer.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in the Commonwealth of Virginia are urged to register with FEMA prior to the deadline, December 8, 2003. To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) any time between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. 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 (SBA) 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.