Lacey, Wash. -- State and federal officials have indicated that eligible families and individuals and households will receive all the assistance they are entitled. Although federal and state assistance must consider insurance coverage-many disaster victims may still be eligible for various forms of federal and state assistance even though insurance may have covered some of their damage.
Residents and small business owners who suffered damage from the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides are encouraged to apply for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) Monday through Saturday until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairments may call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Additionally, those affected by the disaster may apply for assistance by going online to www.fema.gov? which is available around the clock.
Assistance provided by voluntary agencies is not a barrier nor does it exclude or prevent applicants from receiving other federal or state help that is available. Families are encouraged to spend their federal assistance for items as designated in their assistance letter and maintain receipts and records. Families are encouraged to accept help from voluntary agencies for essential living needs or other forms of assistance that may be offered. Even if they receive an appliance or building materials from a voluntary agency "as a disaster met need" they are still eligible for federal assistance.
Under FEMA's Individual Assistance Program (IA) assistance is available through housing grants for temporary housing, repairs of damaged homes, Legal services, Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Crisis Counseling Assistance. The State's cost share Other Needs Assistance Program makes funds available for necessary personal property, primary transportation needs, medical or dental expenses, funeral or burial costs and other expenses not covered by insurance.
Individuals are also encouraged to return their U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) loan application even if they may not want, or think they cannot afford, a loan.? SBA applications can be mailed back in the self-addressed envelope that came with the application or they can be taken to a Disaster Recovery Center or SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center where the applicant can meet one on one with an SBA representative. They can also call SBA's Helpline 1-800-659-2955 or go on line at www.sba.gov.?? For individuals and households to be considered for other forms of assistance the return of the SBA loan application is the first step in the process for qualifying for a possible grant from the state.
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.