RICHMOND, Va. -- Qualified Virginia residents who suffered damages from Tropical Depression Gaston have less than a month left to apply for assistance, state and federal disaster officials said today.
The deadline is Tuesday, November 2.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Charles City, King William, New Kent, Henrico and Prince George, and the cities of Richmond, Hopewell, Colonial Heights and Petersburg can still apply now by calling the special Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 24 hours a day.
“With the Nov. 2 deadline less than a month away, anyone in the declared areas who experienced damage from Gaston should call the toll-free number as soon as possible to register with FEMA,” said Marianne C. Jackson, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer.
People wanting face-to-face assistance may visit either of two area Disaster Recovery Centers through the end of the week, but they should call the toll-free number first. The two centers, at 730 E. Broad St. in Richmond and Dumbarton Library, 6800 Staples Mill Road in Henrico County, are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
After the recovery centers close Friday, individuals may continue to check on the status of their applications by calling the FEMA Helpline at the same toll-free number.
“We have funds available, but individuals must take the first step by calling to register,” said Michael M. Cline, Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinator.
Meantime, another deadline is fast approaching. October 6 is the last day to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance through the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) for the cities of Richmond, Hopewell, Colonial Heights and Petersburg, and the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Henrico and Prince George. The deadline for residents in the counties of Charles City, King William and New Kent is October 21. Those affected by the disaster who are not covered by regular unemployment insurance should visit the nearest VEC field office or a disaster recovery center. Applicants should bring their Social Security number and, if possible, documentation showing earnings for the calendar year 2003.
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 Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.