NEW BERLIN, Wis. -- Community Relations specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are going door-to-door to meet with Milwaukee County residents affected by the July 20-24 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
The teams are in affected neighborhoods providing information about available disaster assistance programs, including grants to help pay for temporary housing needs, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. In addition to meeting with residents, Community Relations teams visit with faith-based groups, community organizations, non-profit agencies, business owners and houses of worship.
"We rely on our Community Relations specialists, not only to get the word out about disaster assistance, but they also to talk to residents to find out if they have other disaster-related issues we may not be aware of," said Federal Coordinating Officer Paul Ricciuti.
When issues need to be addressed or unmet needs are identified, the information is then shared with local, state or federal agencies in order to follow up with a response. As well, Community Relations teams reach out to special needs populations and non-English speaking groups who may need additional assistance.
"The teams are continuing to remind residents affected by the disaster they must apply for FEMA assistance in addition to state or local assistance programs," said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Michael Hinman.
Apply for federal disaster assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Speech- and hearing-impaired individuals may call TTY 1-800- 462-7585. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Multi-lingual operators are available.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.