ATLANTA, Ga. -- Some residents who were affected by Hurricane Ivan assume they are ineligible for disaster assistance and fail to apply for help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges individuals who suffered storm related losses to let a FEMA specialist make the decision concerning eligibility.
Wednesday, November 17, is the last day to apply for disaster aid. “We encourage anyone who had a loss because of the disaster to call our toll free number before the deadline passes,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Jesse Munoz. “We may be able to offer assistance in ways that the resident overlooks—help with referrals for uninsured loss, legal matters, counseling or medical needs, for example.”
Persons who suffered damage and who have not yet registered for federal disaster assistance should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) before midnight on November 17. Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY registration number at 1-800-462-7585. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, seven days a week.
Questions can still be answered, after the deadline, by calling the toll-free tele-registration number, 1-800-FEMA (3362), during the above hours and selecting the “helpline” option.
Individuals, businesses, and certain non-profit organizations may be eligible if their residence, job or business is located in any of the Georgia counties designated under the disaster declaration. The designated counties are Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Early, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Madison, Miller, Pickens, Rabun, Towns, Union and White.
Help is available under several federal and state programs. These include temporary disaster housing assistance; U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes and assistance for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
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.