ANDOVER, Mass. -- Federal and state officials in Massachusetts announced a two week extension for victims of the mid-May floods in Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties to register for assistance to help aid in recovery from uninsured or under-insured losses stemming from the event.
The new deadline of August 7,2006 was granted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“We’ve seen a steady stream of applications continue to come in,” said Phil Parr, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. “The decision was made to extend the deadline to ensure that all those affected by this disaster have had every opportunity to apply for assistance.”
To date, FEMA has received 9,854 applications for assistance and more than $37 million in aid has been approved.
Officials reiterated that often victims fail to register because they have home insurance and assume they are not eligible, only to later learn that assistance may have been available but, the registration period has already closed.
Applicants may qualify for help under a wide range of federal and state programs such as temporary housing assistance; a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); or assistance for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage from the May floods can apply by calling the FEMA registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired, or apply online at www.fema.gov.
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.