CLINTON, Miss. -- Disaster survivors applying for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency have several ways to track their progress and get questions answered.
The disaster assistance process uses step-by-step methods intended to simplify registering and speed aid to those in need. FEMA experts work one-on-one with survivors so that important information flows back and forth in person, by phone, over the Internet, and through U.S mail.
Information is available from mobile FEMA sources, such as web-enabled smart phones, Twitter alerts, Facebook and e-mail; however, the agency does not use these formats to communicate personal information to survivors. For example, FEMA would not send a text message to a cell phone to announce a grant receipt or request additional information.
Survivors can get in touch and stay in touch with FEMA:
Disaster Recovery Centers are one-stop shops that provide personalized assistance to survivors who have registered with FEMA. Representatives from state, federal and voluntary agencies, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, are available at Mississippi Disaster Recovery Centers to answer questions and provide recovery information.
The centers are established at easily-accessed locations throughout the disaster area.? These centers are open Monday thru Saturday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.? They close on Sundays. Locations are publicized in local media or online using the FEMA DRC Locator, www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers
FEMA maintains a toll-free phone line to help survivors register for disaster assistance and follow up on their status. Multilingual operators are available. The number is 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech- or hearing-impaired. Once registered, survivors can access the Helpline at the same number by following the voice prompts.
Survivors can register for assistance anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov. A series of on-screen prompts helps users navigate through the registration process. Those registering will need basic contact and insurance information. The process should take less than 20 minutes.
Once registered, applicants can return to the site periodically, as needed, to:
- Check the ststus of your case
- View and update your Electronic Funds Transfer information
- View and update your address and phone number(s)
- View your insurance type(s) and policy number(s)
- View letters and information requests sent to you
- Verify letters and information requests sent to you
- View letters that you have sent to FEMA
- View agency referrals
- Get updates on the status of inspections being conducted by FEMA
The website also offers a variety of resources for rebuilding after a disaster and provides action-oriented advice for lessening the effects of future disasters.
You can also access public disaster information and recovery resources directly from your smartphone at FEMA's new mobile website at m.fema.gov/.
Survivors who receive federal disaster assistance are notified by mail of their eligibility status and the intended use of any grant they may receive. FEMA also uses the U.S. Postal Service to notify survivors if they are not eligible for assistance, the reasons they are not eligible, and how to appeal a FEMA decision.
Survivors who receive mail from either FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration are encouraged to open it immediately, respond promptly, and/or call the phone numbers provided to get answers...