Madison, Wis. -- Wisconsin residents have less than a month left to register for disaster help. A single phone call can put residents in line for recovery aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and other agencies.
Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph Diemont, who heads the FEMA recovery team, said the deadline for residents to apply for disaster assistance for damages or losses caused since June 5 by storms and flooding is Wednesday, Aug. 13.
"It's very important for anyone whose property was damaged by the storms or whose job or business took a hit because of the storms to sign up with FEMA," said Diemont. "Even if your losses were minimal, signing up by the deadline can put you in position for possible funding and other services."
A toll-free helpline is available between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. every day to take registrations.? The number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).? Those with a hearing or speech impairment can call TTY-1-800-462-7585. Individuals and business owners also can register for help online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA and state recovery aid to residents includes:
- grants for emergency disaster housing and essential repairs;
- grants for necessities not covered by insurance or other sources;
- low-interest loans from the SBA;
- unemployment benefits, disaster legal services and crisis counseling.
People who have registered with the American Red Cross, their county emergency management agency, or other helping agencies also must register with FEMA if they want access to the wide array of federal and state aid that becomes available when a major disaster is declared by the president.
"There is a great deal to be done after a flood, but no one should be too busy to apply for this valuable state and federal help," said Administrator Johnnie Smith of Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM). "We can help with uninsured losses?but if you miss the deadline, you could be denying yourself recovery money."
Smith says application deadlines for unemployment assistance vary by county for persons out of work due to the storms. Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are available through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for workers who lost their income?including self-employed individuals and agricultural employees, who do not qualify for unemployment insurance.
In all, thirty counties have been declared eligible for DUA. Deadlines to apply within these counties are as follows:
- July 16 for Columbia, Crawford, Racine, Richland, Milwaukee, Sauk, and Vernon;
- July 19 for Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green, Iowa, Marquette, Washington, Waukesha, and Winnebago;
- July 20 for Grant, Kenosha, Rock and Sheboygan;
- July 23 for Dane, Juneau and Ozaukee;
- July 25 for Adams, Calumet, Green Lake, Jefferson, La Crosse and Walworth;
- July 30 for Manitowoc County; and,
- August 9 for Monroe County.
More information is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/ or call your county workforce development office.
Residents in the following 30 counties can register for assistance: Adams, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disast...