BEVERLY, Mass. – Bay State disaster victims have only a few weeks left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for state and federal assistance to help with uninsured losses caused by April’s damaging floods.
While registrations cannot be accepted after the June 21 deadline, FEMA will continue to process all applications received before the deadline.
“People need to take charge of their own recovery without delay because we can’t keep the assistance window open indefinitely,” said James N. Russo, the official in charge of federal recovery operations. “Don’t wait for insurance settlements or contractor invoices; register immediately for your own peace-of-mind,” Russo urged.
“It takes only a few minutes to register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362),” said Cristine McCombs, state coordinating officer for recovery operations. McCombs said that registration does not require anyone to accept assistance, however it preserves the option for aid if uninsured costs arise later.
The number for those with speech or hearing impairment is (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Registration lines are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The deadline applies to the Massachusetts disaster declaration signed by President Bush, that designated Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcester Counties eligible for a broad range of state and federal disaster assistance programs.
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.