INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Residents in Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties with property damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ike may call a toll-free helpline operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to register for assistance.
The number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both phone numbers are available around the clock to help residents apply for a variety of federal and state assistance programs, including grants and low interest loans.
In addition, online registration is available at www.FEMA.gov. Registration is the first step to become eligible for FEMA assistance. Officials remind residents who have already filled out damage report forms with the State, county emergency managers, or voluntary agencies that they must register with FEMA to be eligible for federal assistance.
All residents are also encouraged to get involved with the recovery by helping spread the word about available assistance. Tell your neighbor.
The disaster declaration makes a wide range of programs available to residents such as funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or assistance programs.
When applying for help, be sure to have the following information available:
- Your current phone number;
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying;
- Your Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered;
- If insured, the name of your company or agent and your policy number;
- Household financial information;
- Bank account coding if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit.
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy.
Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other help may come in the form of loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes are also available to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property.
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.