This is the third ASK FEMA column from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for anyone who has questions and needs answers about federal disaster assistance programs. These questions are selected from a list of frequently asked questions that FEMA receives at our Helpline, Disaster Recovery Centers and website (www.fema.gov). For a complete listing of frequently asked questions, please visit www.fema.gov. Throughout the next few months we will try to cover all the topics of disaster recovery.
Will FEMA pay for moving and storage expenses?
Costs of moving and storage may be covered, if these costs are directly related to the disaster. You should apply and submit your receipts to see if the cost is covered.
I received my check for rental assistance, but there are no places to rent. If you are unable to locate a place to rent you can visit a local Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) or call FEMA's Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to get the list of rental resources in your area.
Can I have a travel trailer/mobile home at my home?
FEMA reviews the need for Travel Trailers /Mobile Homes on a case-by-case basis. In addition, we will evaluate your site, local codes and permits to determine if it is possible to place a Travel Trailer/Mobile Home at your home.
How long can I use the travel trailer/mobile home?
If FEMA provides you with a travel trailer or mobile home you may be able to use it for up to 18 months from the date of declaration if you continue to have a disaster related housing need.
My family is too large for a travel trailer/mobile home. What do we do?
FEMA can provide more than one travel trailer for a family if necessary.
Can I have a ramp built for a travel trailer/mobile home?
When FEMA makes our initial assessment of your site to decide if it is possible to place a travel trailer/mobile home at your home, we include any requirements for ramps. If you did not receive a ramp and require one, call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). A helpline representative will ensure that someone will get back in contact with you.
Will FEMA help me pay my utility bills?
No, FEMA cannot pay utility bills. However, local charitable organizations may be able to help for a short period. You should contact the American Red Cross or your local United Way office for a referral to a local agency that may be able to help.
Does disaster help have to be repaid?
A grant from the Individual and Households Program does not have to be repaid. Loans from the Small Business Administration must be repaid.
Do you care that my neighbor is using his FEMA money to go on vacation?
If you suspect fraud, waste, or abuse of federal disaster help, call the FEMA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-323-8603.
FEMA told me to either mail or fax in my receipts, what is the mailing address and fax number?
Please write your name and application number on everything you send to us. Also, keep a copy for your own records.
Mail: FEMA - Individual and Households Program
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE:
Call toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (hearing/speech impaired only - TTY: 1-800-462-7585) or to register online visit our website at www.fema.gov. Click on "Register for Disaster Assistance Online" and the screens will prompt you through the process.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. F...