BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland disaster victims who have not yet applied for federal disaster assistance have only one more week to register. Monday, December 8, 2003, is the last day to file applications for disaster assistance programs, according to federal and state disaster recovery officials.
Homeowners, renters, farmers, and businesses owners who sustained damage from Hurricane Isabel are encouraged to apply by calling the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with hearing or speech impairments can register by calling 1-800-462-7585. The telephone numbers are operational from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
“Marylanders who need federal assistance and have not registered with FEMA should call the toll-free number and register before the December 8 deadline,” said Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Audrey Scott. “Getting into the assistance system now will ensure that uninsured storm damage will be eligible for aid, even if discovered after the deadline.”
Applicants 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) disaster loans. For those who have already registered for disaster assistance and have received an SBA loan application in the mail, December 8 is also the last day to return the completed SBA loan application. The loan application packet must be postmarked by December 8 to be considered for SBA loans or for additional disaster related grants.
To date, more than 17,000 Marylanders have registered with FEMA.
After the deadline, if you have questions about your application, you 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.
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.