SALEM, Ore. -- Oregonians who suffered losses during the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides of December 1-17 should register for state and federal assistance even if they believe their insurance will take care of everything.
Even those homeowners and renters who are insured for their damages should register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so eligibility can be determined. After an insurance claim has been paid there may be uninsured losses that could be eligible under disaster assistance programs.
"Insurance is an important part of the recovery process," said Glen R. Sachtleben, federal coordinating officer for the Oregon storms recovery. "But insurance may not meet all your needs, so registration with FEMA and staying in touch with FEMA is very important."
FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offer assistance programs for homeowners, renters, and businesses in Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Yamhill and Polk counties which have been designated for Individual Assistance. SBA disaster loans are not just for small businesses.
"If insurance coverage does not include the expense of being displaced from your home, disaster housing assistance may," said Abby Kershaw, state coordinating officer for the disaster recovery. "Don't wait. Register with FEMA even if you have insurance."
Residents of the declared counties are urged to register with FEMA as soon as possible by ?calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with special speech or hearing needs. Residents may also go to a Disaster Recovery Center or register on-line at www.fema.gov.
"Some people think if they registered with the Red Cross, or with their local emergency management agency, they automatically registered with FEMA," said Sachtleben "That is simply not the case. FEMA and the Red Cross are separate organizations, with separate programs, and we each treat the information people give us as confidential."
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.