Bismarck, ND -- Grand Forks county residents impacted by the Aug. 26 and 27 severe storms, including the Northwood tornado, who have not yet registered for state and federal disaster assistance have just one month left to apply, disaster recovery officials said today.
To register, storm-impacted residents should contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585 for those who are hearing- or speech-impaired) from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday or by going online at www.fema.gov and filing out an application.
"Residents may still be dealing with their insurance companies but they need to also register with FEMA now," said Greg Wilz, director of the N.D. Division of Homeland Security. "Disaster related needs may surface after this deadline passes. If the person did not register, FEMA assistance will not be available."
The FEMA registration deadline is Nov. 13, 2007. When calling FEMA, be prepared to provide the following information:
- Social Security number (all family members)
- Address of damaged property
- Current address
- Current phone number
- Description of damages
- Insurance information
- Total household income
Applicants then will be given a FEMA identification number. It's important to keep this number handy because it enables applicants to update their information or check the status of their case by phone or online at any step through the process.
Applying with FEMA not only helps residents potentially access grant money to pay for temporary housing and make minimal home repairs, but it opens the door to many additional disaster-related services.
"FEMA is the beginning point," Connee Lloyd, federal coordinating officer for the disaster. "There are many other options including low-interest loans that can help provide money for an individual?s recovery."
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes low-interest federal disaster loans available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by the tornado.
SBA can lend additional funds to help with the cost of making improvements that prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
The state and FEMA may help with some serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other programs such as medical costs, transportation and replacing essential personal property.
Free disaster legal services are available by calling the Disaster Legal Hotline: 1-800-803-1719. The hotline is operational 24 hours a day. Callers can leave their name, contact information and a brief description of their legal issue. The hotline is checked daily by a legal representative and calls are referred to volunteer attorneys throughout North Dakota.
Persons who live elsewhere but who work in Grand Forks county at a business that was impacted by the storms also are eligible to apply for disaster unemployment assistance. This program is designed to help those who are not usually eligible for regular unemployment such as farmers or those who are self-employed. Deadline for applying is Oct. 15, 2007. To apply, call Job Service North Dakota at 701-328-3352.
In the first month since federal disaster assistance was made available:
- 271 county residents have registered with FEMA.
- 161 FEMA inspections to identify type and scope of damages to structures and personal property have been completed.
- More than $1.8 million has been provided in FEMA grants and SBA loans.
- The state/federal Disaster Recovery Center (DR...