AUSTIN, Texas -- Five months after Hurricane Ike's landfall, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to deliver disaster assistance to households suffering damage. To date, more than $380 million in housing assistance and more than $103 million in assistance for other needs has been disbursed.
Some disaster victims may not be registering in the belief that they will not qualify.
"Every case is different, so making assumptions based on the experience of others could cut potentially eligible applicants out of needed disaster assistance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Brad Harris. "But time is running out."
Registration ends Feb. 20 for those who suffered damage from Hurricane Ike. You must live in one of the 34 counties designated for FEMA's Individual Assistance--Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Washington counties--to register.
Homeowners, renters, business owners and nonprofit organizations can register online anytime at www.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY 1-800-462-7585). The toll-free number is available from 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.
Depending on individual eligibility, disaster assistance may include money for essential home repairs, temporary housing and help with other needs, such as medical and dental expenses or transportation and moving and storage. Disaster-related housing assistance is available to applicants displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence; and/or whose pre-disaster residences are rendered unsafe, unsanitary and not functional; and who are under-insured or uninsured. Register before the deadline even if you have insurance - in case your claim is questioned. Although a loan is not required, filling out the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) application is necessary to be considered for the full range of FEMA benefits. The deadline to return SBA applications is also Feb. 20.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.