MERRILLVILLE, Ind. -- Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today a toll-free application telephone number for residents who suffered property damage or loss in the severe storms and flooding that occurred in Lake County from August 15-27, 2007.
Donald Keldsen, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, and J. Eric Dietz, State Coordinating Officer and IDHS executive director urge all those affected by the disaster to apply for assistance immediately by calling, toll-free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Registration can also be done online at www.fema.gov.
President Bush signed a disaster declaration designating Lake County eligible for federal aid to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners. The declaration makes residents of the county eligible for a wide range of programs such as funding for temporary housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace damaged property, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
"Don't prejudge your eligibility. If you think you have damage related to the storm, register with FEMA," Keldsen said. "Call even if you don't have all the information necessary or it was lost in the flooding. It's important that all residents get the assistance available to them as quickly as possible."
"Even if you have already registered with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or another voluntary agency or have reported damage to county or local officials, you can apply for the federal and state assistance programs only by going to www.fema.gov or calling FEMA's toll-free number," said Dietz.
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.