FINDLAY, Ohio -- With two weeks until the deadline, state and federal disaster officials are concerned that some Ohioans affected by the August severe storms and floods might miss out on disaster assistance because they are waiting to receive an insurance settlement.
"You need to register first, so we can start processing your application," said Federal Coordinating Officer Jesse Munoz of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "When your settlement comes, you can call us back and we'll make the necessary adjustments in your paperwork.
"We can't pay your deductible, but you may be uninsured or under-insured for certain expenses or losses, or there may be other ways that we can help you," Munoz said. "After a disaster hits, it can take a while for people to resolve insurance issues, so we encourage people to consider registering for help now."
The registration deadline is Oct. 26, two weeks away.
People who sustained damage in the storms and floods between Aug. 20 and Aug. 28, and who live in the eight counties designated as a federal disaster area are encouraged to register right away, if they haven't already. The eight counties are Allen, Crawford, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam, Richland, Seneca and Wyandot.
"We want everyone who is qualified for assistance to receive help while it is available," said State Coordinating Officer Nancy Dragani, executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA). "That's why we encourage people to register, regardless of their insurance situation."
There are two ways to register:
- Over the phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired;
- On the internet at www.fema.gov.
Disaster assistance that may be available includes grants to help pay for:
- Temporary housing;
- Basic repairs to make a home livable again;
- Repair of wells and septic tanks;
- Essential household appliances and clothing;
- School supplies and tools required for a job;
- Dehumidifiers and other equipment necessary to deal with disaster-caused damage to a home or business; and
- Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters, and business owners.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.