CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- November 19 - little better than three weeks away - is the deadline for individuals and business owners in West Virginia who sustained damage from September's Hurricane Ivan flooding to register for federal assistance.
November 19 is also the last day to return low-interest U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan applications.
Applicants may qualify for help under several federal and state programs. These include temporary disaster housing assistance; SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes, and assistance for essential disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
Individuals and business owners may be eligible if their residence, job or business is located in 19 counties included in the federal disaster declaration for Individual Assistance aid - Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt, Berkeley, Cabell, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Morgan, Wood, Mingo and Wayne.
Individuals can apply by calling the toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY registration number at 1-800-462-7585. Calls are taken daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registrations are also taken on FEMA's website, http://www.fema.gov, where there is helpful information.
To date, 6,696 people have registered with FEMA in the West Virginia disaster counties. The agency has approved a total of $13,641,138 in housing and other needs assistance and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $3,152,500 in low-interest disaster loans to small businesses and households.
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 Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.