FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Disaster victims in Kentucky have only two weeks to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for state and federal assistance for damage suffered during May’s tornadoes, flooding and severe storms.
While registrations cannot be accepted after the August 9 deadline, FEMA will continue to process all applications received before the deadline.
“Any resident of a declared county who suffered losses in the storms of late May and early June should register to ensure the possibility of assistance, even if they had insurance,” said Michael Bolch, the official in charge of federal recovery operations. “Those who plan to register, but have delayed, need to meet the deadline.”
The deadline applies to the Kentucky disaster declaration signed on June 10 by President Bush, and pertains to all declared counties that suffered storm damage between May 26 and June 18. To date residents of 78 counties are eligible to register for aid.
It takes only a few minutes to register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The number for those with speech or hearing impairment is 1-800-462-7585. The registration numbers are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT/CDT), Monday through Saturday, until further notice.
Bolch emphasized that receiving assistance has no affect on homeowners’ insurance because assistance covers only uninsured losses.
The deadline to return U.S. Small Business Administration loan applications is also Aug. 9. If the completed application is not returned, disaster victims may be eliminating themselves from consideration for other available disaster assistance programs, including grants. (Those who register with FEMA by August 9 may still be considered for SBA loans.)
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.