DES MOINES, Iowa -- Even though the last Disaster Recovery Center closed July 1, help is just a phone call away.
Iowans who suffered losses due to severe weather, tornadoes and flooding between May 19 and June 24 may call the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free registration number: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. Recovery specialists are available to take calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The deadline to register for disaster assistance is July 26.
Typical registration phone calls take approximately 20 minutes. When calling, Iowans should have the following information available:
- A phone number in case a representative needs to call them back
- Address of the damaged property
- Social Security number
- Brief description of damages
- Current mailing address
- Insurance information (if they have insurance)
Those who have already registered may want to call for referrals, to update their information or to check on the status of their applications.
Disaster assistance can come in the form of grants to pay for alternate short-term housing for residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed, or to make minimal home repairs. Other programs include: low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters, or business owners; grants to meet serious disaster-related needs not covered by other programs or insurance; and disaster unemployment assistance.
Those who have questions about the SBA loan application process or their individual loans may call 1-800-366-6303 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Officials urge applicants to complete their loan paperwork as soon as possible. If the loan application is not returned, it could delay other forms of assistance, including possible grants.
Those who wish to discuss their applications for Other Needs Assistance may call 1-866-434-4692. The TTY number is 1-800-735-2942. The numbers are staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division was known as the Iowa Emergency Management Division until July 2003. The current name reflects the dual nature of the Division to provide programs and resources for both homeland security and emergency management efforts.
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.