TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Federal and state officials overseeing north Florida's disaster recovery from the severe storms and flooding of late March through early May urge all registered applicants to stay in touch throughout the recovery process.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Emergency Response Team say this is especially important as disaster-related insurance claims are settled and contact information changes.
The deadline for registering for disaster assistance is 7 p.m. Monday, June 29.
Registration is easily done by calling FEMA toll free at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585, going online to www.disasterassistance.gov.
Applicants can also use the toll-free telephone number and Web site to update any change of address or phone number, reschedule inspection appointments, notify FEMA about insurance settlements, initiate appeals or ask any disaster-related questions. A broad range of multilingual recovery specialists are available at the Helpline.
Helpline hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT, seven days a week until further notice.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance was approved for eligible homeowners, renters and businesses in the following counties: Calhoun, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.
Recovery officials say staying in touch includes the prompt return of all required forms and requests for information. If an applicant is referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the loan application has to be completed and returned to be considered for some types of federal aid.
FEMA disaster assistance covers only basic needs and will not normally compensate applicants for the entire loss. For applicants with insurance, available state-FEMA disaster assistance may help pay for basic needs not covered under an insurance policy.
All residents registered for assistance with FEMA are urged to update their mailing address with the U.S. Postal Service by calling 800-275-8777 or visiting www.usps.gov. Change-of-address forms also are available at any post office.
Residents should keep their contact information current with the Social Security Administration and any other government agency they routinely do business with or that may impact their recovery.
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.