ANDOVER, Mass. -- Massachusetts residents affected by the severe storms and flooding in May now have less than two weeks to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible state and federal disaster assistance. Registrations cannot be accepted after the July 24, 2006 deadline.
Recovery officials urge residents and business owners with flood-related damage in the disaster-declared counties of Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk to register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The number for those with speech or hearing impairment is 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. You may also register online at www.fema.gov.
"We don't want anyone who is eligible to miss out on the disaster assistance that is available to them," said federal coordinating officer Phil Parr. "Many individuals now have a better handle on their insurance settlement, and in cases where there are still unmet needs, we may be able to assist."
Low-interest disaster loans are also available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for uninsured or underinsured damages to homes, personal property and businesses. More information on SBA loans can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.
"A pivotal part of the recovery process is getting the right type of aid to those who need it," said State Coordinating Officer Cristine McCombs. "Registering for disaster assistance enables us to do just that."
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.