ATLANTA, Ga. -- Community relations specialists from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency are reaching out to survivors affected by the recent storms and tornadoes.
Teams are out in the impacted counties, knocking on doors and encouraging people to register for federal disaster assistance programs. They also are trying to identify unmet needs.
Renters and homeowners may apply for grants for rental assistance, basic home repairs and other serious disaster-related needs. Other needs may include medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster.
“Our teams are key to making sure survivors know what help is available to get them on the road to recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia B. Szczech. “They will also meet with community leaders and representatives from voluntary agencies. If the teams encounter someone with unmet needs, they can pass that information to the appropriate state, federal or voluntary agency.”
Disaster survivors can apply for federal assistance directly through Web-enabled mobile phone devices or smartphones at m.fema.gov. They can also call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. Survivors also can register online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
Renters, homeowners and business owners may also be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover losses not covered by insurance. No one is obligated to accept a loan. However, the SBA loan application opens the door to other possible forms of assistance.
Twenty Georgia counties are designated in the disaster declaration. Those counties are Bartow, Catoosa, Coweta, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Greene, Harris, Heard, Lamar, Lumpkin, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Spalding, Troup and Walker.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
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.