BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Buffalo and Tonawanda will be closed on Nov. 23, 2006, for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. The centers, managed by the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reopen on Friday, Nov. 24, and resume normal operating hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
The DRCs provide a single location where people are able to talk face-to-face with disaster recovery specialists. No cash, checks, debit cards or vouchers are distributed at Disaster Recovery Centers. Disaster Recovery Centers do, however, offer many types of recovery information. At the centers, visitors also can receive help filling out disaster loan applications from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
DRCs are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the following:
- Tonawanda – Brighton Golf Club, 70 Brompton Road
- Buffalo - The Olmsted Center for the Visually Impaired, 1160 Main Street
To apply for federal disaster assistance, residents must first register with FEMA. There are two ways to register: log on to www.fema.gov or call FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment.
Disaster assistance may include grants to pay for temporary housing, help replace a destroyed home, or pay for minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. SBA also are available for residential and business losses not covered by insurance.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.