CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Residents and businesses in CUYAHOGA, ERIE, HURON, LUCAS, SANDUSKY, AND STARK counties have only two more weeks to apply for federal and state disaster assistance to help them recover from damages resulting from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds, and flooding from June 21-23.
"We will continue to process existing assistance applications, but the deadline to apply is Thursday, August 31, " Jesse Munoz the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) federal coordinating officer, said.
There are two easy ways to begin the application process. Individuals may call FEMA's toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired. Both numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week until further notice, and multilingual operators are available to answer your calls. Residents with Internet access may also register online through the agency's website at http://www.fema.gov where valuable recovery information is also available.
"We encourage Ohioans affected by this weather event to register," Nancy Dragani, Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) executive director and state coordinating officer, said. "The help process cannot start until individuals call."
Even if you have insurance, you may still be eligible for disaster assistance for under-insured losses. However, in order to complete an application, FEMA will need the resident's insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits.
Applications may be updated and will continue to be processed after the August 31 deadline. New applications for assistance will not be accepted. Helpline representatives are available to answer questions about assistance or check the status of an application by calling 1-800-621-3362.
Assistance available to disaster victims includes grants for temporary disaster housing; repairing disaster-damaged, uninsured homes to a safe and sanitary living condition, and for serious, disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property.
August 31 is the final day to apply for disaster assistance for individuals and businesses affected by the storms and flooding in the disaster-designated counties of CUYAHOGA, ERIE, HURON, LUCAS, SANDUSKY AND STARK.
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 a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.