MERRIMACK , N.H. -- State and federal disaster recovery officials urge those who sustained damages or losses from the October 7-16 severe storms and flooding that struck Massachusetts to apply for aid as soon as possible.
As a result of the major disaster declaration by President George W. Bush on November 10, assistance is available to individuals and businesses located in Berkshire, Bristol , Franklin , Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk , Plymouth and Worcester counties.
Massachusetts residents and business owners with disaster-related losses should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tele-registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY), for the hearing and speech impaired. Lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice. Registrations can also be done online at www.fema.gov .
"Calling FEMA's toll-free number or registering online is the first step that homeowners, business owners and renters should take when seeking assistance," said Peter Martinasco, FEMA's federal coordinating officer for this disaster. ?The fast, easy call is the only way to begin the process of helping us to help you to recover and rebuild."
"We are continuing to work closely with our federal partners to meet the immediate and long-term needs of affected residents," said State Coordinating Officer and Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Cristine McCombs. " We are committed to the process, but we can't help people who don't register for help."
The various disaster aid programs and services offered by FEMA and MEMA include financial assistance to pay for temporary housing, emergency repairs and individual and household grants to cover serious unmet needs.
- TEMPORARY HOUSING -- Money to rent a different place to live, or a temporary housing unit when rental properties are not available.
- REPAIR -- Money for homeowners to repair damage from the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary and livable.
OTHER NEEDS ASSISTANCE -- Money for necessary and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, and other expenses.
Applicants for assistance should have the following information readily available:
- Current and pre-disaster address
- Current telephone numbers
- Social Security number
- Insurance coverage, policy number(s) and agent's name if possible
Low-interest disaster loans are also available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for uninsured damages to homes, personal property and businesses.
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.