ATLANTA, Ga. -- As the November 17 deadline for disaster assistance registration approaches, state and federal disaster officials remind insured homeowners and renters who have not yet received help that they may still be eligible for assistance with Hurricane Ivan damages.
Applicants who received a letter with a determination of "INS-insured," and a grant amount of $0, are reminded to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) once their insurance claim is settled. Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY registration number at 1-800-462-7585. The number is operational seven days a week, 24 hours a day until further notice.
"The INS-insured code means that the applicant has insurance," explained FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Nick Russo. "By law, FEMA cannot duplicate what insurance already covers, nor pay deductibles. But under-insured repair and personal property loss assistance may be available, which FEMA will determine once an applicant's insurance claim is settled.
"However, if you have insurance and disaster damage and have not yet registered with FEMA, you should call now. If you wait for the insurance settlement, it may be too late to register," Russo said.
"Those who are waiting for federal assistance because of insurance delays should contact their insurance agency and request a settlement letter," said State Coordinating Officer and Director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) Mike Sherberger. "That information, and any new or additional information since the initial application was filed, should be mailed to the address provided in the determination letter from FEMA."
Even though an applicant may not be eligible for a grant, he or she may still qualify for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), legal and tax assistance or other programs designed to help disaster victims.
Renters, homeowners and business owners in any of the declared Georgia counties who suffered damage from Hurricane Ivan are urged to register with FEMA if they have not yet done so. The deadline to apply for assistance is just two weeks away. Those counties are Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Early, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Madison, Miller, Pickens, Rabun, Towns, Union and White.
On line registration and valuable recovery information also is available at http://www.fema.gov for residents of federal disaster areas.
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.