MERRILLVILLE, Ind. -- Flood victims in Lake County should apply for financial assistance even if other funds are being sought through insurance, loans or legal remedies, say officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).
"No matter the status of your case with your insurance company or any other entity, you should apply for financial assistance with FEMA right away," said Donald Keldsen, Federal Coordinating Officer with FEMA. "Once the deadline passes, that opportunity is gone."
"Registering with FEMA does not preclude participation in disaster-related legal actions," added Keldsen.
"Even in the event that insurance, loans or other financial reparations would influence the outcome of assistance - or vice versa -- it's better to apply," said J. Eric Dietz, executive director of IDHS. "The goal is to support unmet needs, and it's more likely your needs will be met if you seek assistance from as many sources as possible. Also, some people qualify for assistance from more than one program and may receive additional help from another agency."
The deadline to apply is January 29, 2008. To apply, call toll free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday, until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Registration also can be completed online at www.fema.gov.
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.