COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Individual assistance for Lawrence County has been made available to help homeowners, renters and business owners recover from the effects of the recent storms and flooding in Ohio, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Homeland Security, said the assistance was approved based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. The county was added for Individual Assistance under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on September 19.
“We remain committed to delivering assistance wherever it’s needed and to making sure that every qualified individual and family receive the help they need to get back on the road to recovery,” Lee Champagne, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said.
Affected residents and business owners in Lawrence County can begin the disaster application process by calling the toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week until further notice. Individuals with Internet access now have the option to register on the agency’s website at http://www.fema.gov, where valuable recovery information is also available.
November 18 is the deadline for Individual Assistance applications. Although assistance can continue beyond this deadline, disaster victims must call and apply by November 18.
Champagne said calling these numbers is the only way to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs that can include funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace real or personal property and housing repair; replacement grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and disaster unemployment assistance.
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;
- General financial information; and
- Bank account code if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit.
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Residents should contact their insurance agent first, then if they have unmet needs they should call FEMA to apply. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.
The 20 other disaster-designated counties are Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.
DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INFORMATION
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to help people through the recovery process. The types of assistance that are available are as follows.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs
INDIVIDUALS and HOUSEHOLDS PROGRAM: Housing assistance to individuals...