CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal and state disaster officials urge individuals who suffered storm related losses due to severe storms and flooding in late July to register for assistance before the deadline date. Tuesday, October 5 is the last day to register for disaster aid for the July storms.
“We encourage anyone who had a loss because of the disaster to call our toll free number before the deadline passes,” said Lou Botta, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “Even though a few months have passed, we may be able to offer assistance in ways a resident might overlook—help with referrals for legal matters or counseling or medical needs, for example.”
Persons who sustained damage and who have not yet registered for federal disaster assistance should call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) before 6 p.m. on October 5. Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY registration number at 1-800-462-7585. Calls are taken between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. Because FEMA is receiving a high volume of calls resulting from Hurricane Ivan, victims of the July storms with only minor damage are asked to consider calling during off hours.
Individuals, businesses, and certain non-profit organizations may be eligible if their residence, job or business is located in any of the 4 West Virginia counties designated under the disaster declaration. The designated counties are Fayette, Lincoln, Logan and Mingo.
Help is available under several federal and state programs. These include temporary disaster housing assistance; U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes; and assistance for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
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.