ATLANTA, Ga. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that disaster assistance has been made available for Clayton, Forsyth, Pike, and Upson Counties to help residents and local governments recover from the effects of Hurricane Ivan.
Clayton and Forsyth Counties were approved for assistance to individuals. Pike and Upson Counties were approved for aid to local governments. Forsyth County was previously approved for local-government assistance.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the counties were added to the list of eligible jurisdictions based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. The following 17 counties were previously designated eligible for aid to individuals: Carroll, Cherokee, Cobb, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Early, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Madison, Miller, Pickens Rabun, Towns, Union, and White.
The addition of Pike and Upson counties bring to 28 the number of Georgia counties that are eligible for disaster assistance to help local governments rebuild public property damaged by Hurricane Ivan: Counties previously approved for Hurricane Ivan aid to local governments are Banks, Carroll, Cherokee, Cobb, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Early, Elbert, Fannin, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Habersham, Harris, Heard, Lumpkin, Madison, Miller, Pickens, Rabun, Towns, Union, White, and Wilkes.
"The recovery from these hurricanes will be a long and difficult process," said Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) Director Mike Sherberger. "And we appreciate the support and concern provided on the federal, state and local levels to help restore our communities."
"We remain committed to ensuring that every qualified family and business receives the help they need and that vital community facilities are restored to full service as quickly as possible," said Federal Coordinating Officer Nick Russo.
Russo said that residents and business owners in the two newly designated counties are now eligible to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on September 18. Such aid may include funding for temporary disaster housing assistance and housing repair and replacement grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs, as well as U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses of any size for losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Affected residents and business owners in Clayton and Forsyth Counties can apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Although the lines are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week they are currently experiencing an unprecedented volume of calls due to multiple hurricanes that have affected people in many states. Callers are urged to be patient and to call late in the evening or very early in the morning when call volume is often lighter. In addition to registering by phone, residents of federal disaster areas can apply for assistance and find valuable recovery information on the Internet at .
Callers are advised to have the following information available to help speed up the application process:
- Your current phone number.
- Your Social Security number, if available.
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered.
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name.
- Bank account code if you wish t...