BEVERLY, Mass. -- If the recent April flooding did more damage to your personal or business property than your insurance will cover, or if you had no insurance at all, don’t panic; you may be eligible for a variety of state and federal disaster aid programs.
As recovery efforts continue, many residents of disaster-declared areas are discovering that the cost of cleanup and repair may be more than they originally estimated. Insurance settlements may not cover all the repair costs or provide for damaged contents, and homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover floods.
“People should never rule themselves out for recovery assistance,” said James N. Russo in charge of recovery efforts for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “A broad range of disaster aid programs is available to help people rebuild after a disaster and one or more of them may meet needs not addressed through insurance coverage.”
Available disaster aid includes financial assistance to pay for temporary housing, emergency repairs or rebuilding, rental costs, and individual and household grants to cover serious unmet needs. Low-interest disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for uninsured damages to homes, personal property, and businesses.
“We want to make sure that everyone affected by the storm applies if they have disaster-related expenses,” said Cristine McCombs, state coordinating officer. “There is no need to wait for an insurance settlement before calling to apply.”
To register, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech-impaired, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Multilingual operators are available.
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 Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.