MADISON, Wis. -- The following is a summary of information released Aug. 2 through Aug. 8 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from the Wisconsin Joint Field Office for Disaster 1768, severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
Quick Lines, No Waiting for FEMA Phone Help
(Date of Release: Aug. 5, 2008)
Residents telephoning FEMA for disaster assistance will not have to wait to determine the status of their application or update their information. Callers can select from a menu of options that bypass an operator or they can talk to one of many helpline staff members. Those who previously have registered with FEMA simply need to have on hand their registration number, the last four digits of their Social Security number and their date of birth. The FEMA helpline numbers are 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY-1-800-462-7585.
Final Three Disaster Recovery Centers to Close Soon
(Date of Release: Aug. 5, 2008)
The Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties will close Aug. 9 and the DRC in Milwaukee County will close Aug. 16. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will reopen all three facilities as Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs) to continue assisting homeowners, renters and business owners with low-interest disaster loans.
The Fond du Lac DLOC will open Monday, Aug. 11, at the same location as the current DRC: UW Fond du Lac, 400 University Ave., Fond du Lac, 54935. The Winnebago County DLOC will open at a new location: Oshkosh Seniors Center, 200 N. Campbell Rd. Oshkosh, 54902 on Monday, Aug. 11. The Milwaukee County DLOC will open Monday, Aug. 18, at the same location as the current DRC: Milwaukee City Campus, 2711 Wells St., Milwaukee, 53202. Hours of operation for all three DLOCs will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. - Fri. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat.
Misunderstandings Can Cost Benefits
(Date of Release: Aug. 6, 2008)
Don't let misunderstandings cause the loss of needed disaster assistance. The following are examples of misconceptions that cause residents to miss out on disaster benefits:
- I must meet a minimum threshold of damage before I can register for assistance with FEMA.
- I have to return home before I can apply for disaster assistance
- I have already repaired my home, so I don't need to apply.
- I have to know exactly what the damage is before I can apply.
- For an inspection to take place, I have to be present when the inspector comes.
- I must own a business to apply for a disaster loan from the SBA.
All of the above statements are false and represent misconceptions that often prevent those affected by disaster from receiving benefits for which they might qualify.
Federal Funds Helping Wisconsin Recover From Storms and Flooding
(Date of Release: Aug. 7, 2008)
Wisconsin disaster assistance exceeds $67 million as of close of business Aug. 6. The monies include $44.8 million in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for housing and other individual needs and $22.4 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to homeowners, renters and business owners.
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.