RICHMOND, Va. -- There is only one week 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 Nov. 2. Residents and business owners are eligible in the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, and the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent and Prince George.
If you had losses, but have not applied for assistance, you should do so immediately. 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.
If you have Internet access, you can register on the agency's website at http://www.fema.gov.
"Time is running out," said Michael M. Cline, the state coordinating officer from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. "If you've been putting off registering with FEMA, you should do it immediately."
"Nov. 2 is the last day we can accept your registration application," said Marianne C. Jackson, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "You have to be registered with us to receive assistance."
Even if you had insurance, you may still be eligible for disaster assistance for under-insured or uninsured losses. However, in order to complete an application, FEMA will need your insurance settlement information to avoid duplication of benefits.
Once you've registered, you can call the FEMA toll-free number, even after the deadline, to check on the status of your application and for 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.