ALBANY, N.Y. -- New Yorkers in the six disaster-designated counties (Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster) who sustained damage or losses from Tropical Depression Ivan (Sept. 16 – 24) have until Tuesday, Nov. 30, to apply for state and federal disaster assistance.
Disaster recovery officials urge those homeowners, renters and business owners to register with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as soon as possible by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairments may apply by calling 1-800-462-7585. Lines remain open from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday. Those with Internet access can register anytime at www.fema.gov.
Disaster assistance may include grants for home repairs, temporary housing, or any serious needs or necessary disaster-related expenses; and long-term, low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration to cover personal, residential and business losses not covered by insurance or otherwise compensated.
“There’s no need to delay—even if you’re waiting for an insurance settlement,” said State Coordinating Officer James W. Tuffey, Director of the New Your State Emergency Management Office. “Registration simply keeps open the possibility of assistance.” However, FEMA will eventually need the applicant’s insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits. “If you receive assistance down the road, the assistance would not affect your insurance premiums, because disaster aid covers only uninsured losses,” said Tuffey.
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.