Merrimack, NH - Victims of the severe storms and flooding in disaster-declared New Hampshire counties should not be concerned that their applications for assistance will reduce the amounts available for their neighbors. State and federal disaster officials are highlighting the fact that there is enough help to go around for all who are eligible.
"All residents and business owners with damage should apply, regardless of the amount of damage their properties may have sustained," said Peter Martinasco, FEMA's federal coordinating officer for the disaster. "The amounts distributed to one individual will in no way affect what disaster assistance is available to your neighbor or other citizens of New Hampshire. We are treating each eligible claim with urgency and proficiency."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New Hampshire Bureau of Emergency Management (BEM) urge residents and business owners who sustained damage to apply for aid by calling the FEMA tele-registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by registering online at www.fema.gov. The number for the speech or hearing impaired is 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).
Residents are encouraged to apply for a wide variety of programs, such as funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs, and disaster unemployment assistance.
Assistance may include lodging expenses, alternate rental costs, or essential repairs to make the home safe and habitable. For homeowners and renters, damages to essential personal property, (i.e. furnaces, water heaters, washers and dryers, and freezers) may qualify for some form of state/federal assistance. Other serious needs such as funeral expenses, medical expenses and equipment, personal property, and transportation may also be covered.
"Don't prejudge your eligibility," said State Coordinating Officer Mike Poirier, New Hampshire Bureau of Emergency Management (BEM). "We don't want to miss anyone affected by the severe storms and floods who may need help to begin the recovery process."
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.