EVERETT, Wash. -- Individuals who suffered damages from the severe storms and flooding October 15 - 23, may be eligible for disaster assistance from the State of Washington, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), even if they are insured .
"If you are under-insured or uninsured for expenses, damages or losses, we may be able to help," said Anthony Russell, the federal official in charge of long-term disaster recovery. "If your losses are not fully covered, take the first step and call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance."
TTY serviced is available at 1-800-462-7585 for individuals who are speech or hearing impaired. Phone lines are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.
Diane R. Offord, the state coordinating officer for disaster recovery, said, "Don't disqualify yourself by not registering for assistance. Often people learn later that they were eligible for benefits but incorrectly assumed otherwise because they had insurance."
The federal and state programs available include temporary housing and rental assistance, home repair and other disaster-related needs, disaster unemployment assistance and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.
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.