LINCOLN, Neb. -- Homeowners, renters and business owners in Custer and Lancaster counties who suffered damage as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding beginning May 22 through June 24 are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have been working together to help Nebraskans recover from the storms.
"Adding these counties means residents in 15 Nebraska counties may qualify for Disaster Assistance," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Willie G. Nunn.
The disaster programs for individuals may include temporary housing and grants for disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other programs.
The counties include Buffalo, Butler, Colfax, Custer, Dawson, Douglas, Gage, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lancaster, Kearney, Platte, Richardson, Sarpy and Saunders counties.
"We want to make sure everyone who is eligible gets the assistance they need," said State Coordinating Officer Cindy Newsham.
Homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes in the 15 declared counties who sustained damages and losses can now register for disaster assistance with FEMA and apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The most important step individuals and business owners can take after the presidential disaster has been declared is to register with FEMA for assistance either by phone or on the Internet.
Apply by phone 24 hours a day by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362), or TTY at (800) 462-7585. It will take 20 to 30 minutes to complete the application. Online applications can be made by going to www.fema.gov/assistance.
When residents register for assistance, they will be assigned a 9-digit registration number. This number should be written down and kept safe. It is needed to track the applicant's claim.
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.
This release has been modified from its original version.