Disaster Officials Offer Tips To Assist In Recovery Process

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Release date: 
June 30, 2004
Release Number: 
1526-013

MADISON, Wis. -- Disaster recovery officials overseeing efforts to assist area residents dealing with the aftermath of the severe storms and flooding that began May 19 suggest a course of action for individuals and business owners who suffered damage or loss:

  • Call and apply as soon as possible. Homeowners, renters, and business owners who suffered flood and severe storm losses must call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to be considered for disaster assistance. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments should call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until further notice;

  • Call and apply, even if you are insured. Your insurance coverage may not be adequate and some foundation damage may not show up until later. Anyone who suffered any flooding or severe storm damage or loss should register for assistance;

  • Call and apply, even if you have already reported the damage to the county emergency manager, American Red Cross or other voluntary agencies. You must call the FEMA application number to apply for federal disaster assistance;

  • Remember, disaster assistance covers a range of disaster losses and comes in a variety of forms. Disaster-related damage or loss of essential personal property, anything from a wheelchair to an essential appliance, may qualify for some form of federal/state assistance. Disaster assistance can come in the form of grants for immediate housing needs and emergency repairs, low-interest disaster loans to repair or replace disaster-related damages, or Disaster Unemployment Insurance for those affected by the disaster who are not covered by regular unemployment insurance;

  • Return all forms promptly. After registering, you may receive a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan application package in the mail. Fill out and return these forms promptly since they are an essential part of the disaster-assistance process. Failure to complete and return the application could eliminate you from getting other forms of assistance, including grants;

  • Stay in touch and keep appointments after you have registered for disaster assistance. A FEMA inspector and an SBA loss verifier may make an appointment to visit your home, usually within two to three days. Make every effort to be at home for the appointment. You can call the FEMA Helpline using the same toll-free numbers, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 1-800-462-7585, if you have any questions on your application or wish to provide updated information, like your current phone number;

  • Rebuild with disaster prevention in mind. If you receive an emergency housing repair grant from FEMA, a follow-up letter will arrive after you receive your check. That letter will identify the purpose of the grant and will highlight the need to make repairs that will lessen the risk of future losses. Examples include raising electrical junction boxes and elevating major appliances to minimize floodwater damage; and

  • Visit a Disaster Recovery Center if you have questions or need more information. The following centers are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, except as noted:
    • Fond du Lac, U. of Wis. in the Large Group Instruction Room at 400 University Drive
    • Oshkosh, South Park Middle School, 155...
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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