SALEM, Va. -- Final closing dates have been set for Disaster Recovery Centers in the Salem and Covington areas established to help victims of Tropical Depression Jeanne, federal and state officials said today.
The center near Covington, at the Alleghany County Government Center, 9212 Winterbury Ave., will close Saturday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. The center in Salem, at 2145 Apperson Drive, will close Friday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m.
Michael M. Cline, state coordinating officer for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will still take registrations through Dec. 17, even though the recovery centers are closing.
“After next Friday, people with questions will have to call the toll-free numbers,” Cline said. “But if they want to talk with a recovery expert face-to-face, they should go to a center before the close.”
Victims in the designated area seeking federal and state disaster assistance must register by telephone or the Internet as the first step of the recovery process.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in the declared area can call toll free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing- and speech-impaired. Those lines are open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight. Victims should register before going to one of the centers, Cline said.
Those with Internet access can register on the agency’s website at fema.gov.
“We hope everyone who suffered damage from the storm has registered with us,” said Marianne C. Jackson, who is in charge of the recovery for FEMA. “But there’s still time.”
President Bush signed a major disaster declaration on Oct. 18 for the cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the counties of Alleghany, Craig, Floyd, Montgomery, Giles, Patrick and Roanoke. Botetourt County was added later.
Farmers who had damage to their primary residence from Jeanne should register with FEMA. If access to the primary residence is limited due to storm damage, they should also register with FEMA. For other agriculture damage, farmers should contact their Farm Service Agency office.
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.