MERRIMACK , N.H. -- Disaster assistance for Belknap County has been made available to help homeowners, renters and business owners recover from the effects of the recent severe storms and flooding in New Hampshire , the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Peter Martinasco said the assistance was approved based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. The county was added for the aid under the major disaster declaration issued by President George W. Bush on October 26.
"We remain committed to delivering assistance wherever it's needed and to making sure that every qualified individual and family receives the help they need to get back on the road to recovery," Martinasco said.
Affected residents and business owners in Belknap County may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) , 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice. Those who are speech or hearing impaired may call TTY 1-800-462-7585 . Individuals may also register for disaster assistance at the FEMA website www.fema.gov .
State Coordinating Officer Mike Poirier of the New Hampshire Bureau of Emergency Management (BEM) said registering with FEMA is the only way to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs that can include funding for temporary disaster housing assistance; U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace real or personal property and housing repair; replacement grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and disaster unemployment assistance.
Callers are advised to have the following information available to help speed up the application process:
- Current and pre-disaster address
- Your current phone number
- Your Social Security number, if available
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name
- Bank account code if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Residents should contact their insurance agent first, then they should call FEMA to apply. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of loans.
The disaster-designated counties are Belknap, Cheshire , Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Sullivan.
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.