RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered damage or loss from the severe storms and floods of November 18-19 are urged to take the time to register with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by calling the toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired.
The lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed on Sundays.
During the holiday season, the registration lines will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25 and also December 26. The lines will resume operation on December 27.
“It only takes about 20 minutes to make the call and register for disaster assistance,” said Federal Coordinating Officer, Lou Botta. “The registration operators will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.”
The counties of Bland, Buchanan, Giles, Smyth and Tazewell and the city of Galax were declared disaster areas making federal disaster aid available for homeowners and business owners in those jurisdictions. Assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
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.