ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Disaster Recovery Center operating in Steuben County will close at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 9, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO).
“Help is still just a phone call or a click away,” said James W. Tuffey, Director of the New York State Emergency Management Office and State Coordinating Officer. “Whether online or by phone, registration is the first step to receiving help from state and federal programs.”
Homeowners, renters and business owners, who sustained damages or losses from the severe storms and flooding that occurred between Aug. 13 and Sept. 16, can apply for assistance by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Lines remain open from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday. Those with speech or hearing impairments may apply by calling 1-800-462-7585. Applicants also can register online by going to www.fema.gov.
Disaster aid may include grants for home repairs, temporary housing or any serious disaster-related expenses, as well as 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.
At a Disaster Recovery Center, people with questions about disaster assistance sit down face-to-face with state and federal disaster-recovery specialists. But disaster victims do not need to visit the center to apply for disaster assistance.
After registering, people can check on the status of their application, update personal information, or get more information on disaster assistance by calling FEMA’s toll-free Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 and choosing option two.
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.