COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A toll-free application telephone number and online registration is now operational for those who suffered property damage or loss in the six designated counties affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds, and flooding during the period June 21-23.
Jesse Munoz, federal coordinating officer with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Nancy Dragani, state coordinating officer and executive director of Ohio Emergency Management Agency, said those affected by the disaster may apply for assistance immediately by calling this toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Disaster victims may also apply online at www.fema.gov.
In response to a request from Governor Bob Taft, President Bush signed a major disaster declaration designating the counties of Cuyahoga, Erie, Huron, Lucas, Sandusky, and Stark eligible for federal aid to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
The declaration means that residents of these counties may be eligible for a wide range of programs such as funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for individuals and business owners 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.
“Your phone call is your application for both state and federal assistance available under the disaster declaration. Telephone application has proven to be the simplest, quickest, most efficient and confidential way to apply,” Munoz said.
When calling to apply or registering online have the following information available:
- Your current phone number;
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying;
- Your Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered;
- If insured, the name of your company or agent and your policy number;
- General financial information; and
- Bank account coding if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit
“Don’t prejudge your eligibility,” Dragani said. “Call or go online to apply so that if you have eligible losses you will receive the assistance as quickly as possible to help begin the recovery process.”
FEMA 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 if they have unmet needs 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 FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.
Residents and business who previously registered with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and any another voluntary agency or have reported damage to county or local officials need apply for the federal and state assistance programs by calling FEMA’s toll-free number or going online.
DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INFORMATION
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide s...