RICHMOND, Va. -- It’s two weeks until Election Day. And, there are also only two weeks left for individuals and business owners in 12 Virginia localities affected by Tropical Storm Gaston to call and apply for disaster assistance.
The deadline is November 2. Residents and business owners are eligible in the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, or the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent and Prince George.
Those who had losses, but have not applied for assistance, should do so as soon as possible. There are two ways to apply. The first is by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired. Both numbers are operational 24-hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
The other way, for those with Internet access, is to register on the agency’s website at http://www.fema.gov.
“This is the last chance for Gaston victims who still haven’t applied,” said Michael M. Cline, the state coordinating officer for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
“We don’t want anyone to miss out on the assistance they’re entitled to,” said Marianne C. Jackson, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer. “If you suffered damages, please call and apply before the deadline.”
Even victims with insurance may still be eligible for disaster assistance for under-insured or uninsured losses. However, in order to complete an application, FEMA will need the resident’s insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits.
People who have already applied may call the FEMA toll-free number even after the deadline to check on the status of their application and get additional information.
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.