RICHMOND, Va. -- The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Bluefield, Virginia located in the Kroger Plaza on South College Avenue, will discontinue operation at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened the Disaster Recovery Center on Dec. 11 to assist victims of the Nov. 18-19, 2003 severe storms and flooding.
The center provides an opportunity for people who sustained losses and damage as a result of the disaster to meet one-on-one with disaster recovery specialists, to check the status of their application for assistance, to learn about a variety of federal, state and local disaster programs and to get information on how to prevent future damages from severe storms.
State and federal officials want residents to know that help is still just a phone call away. FEMA’s toll-free Teleregistration/Helpline number is available and offers the same services by telephone as those offered at the DRC. It may also be used by those who wish to begin their recovery by registering for state/federal disaster assistance. The last day to apply for assistance is Monday, Feb. 9, though people who have already registered may call as long as necessary.
To register for state/federal disaster assistance call: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Until further notice, the line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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.