Columbia, Mo. -- Some people who suffered damages from the recent severe storms, floods and tornadoes have been forced to relocate, but may have not registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. State and federal disaster officials want to find and help disaster survivors wherever they may now be living.
If you suffered damages in any of the declared counties, regardless of where you may now be staying you must register with FEMA. If you know people who had damages but have not yet registered urge them to do so. The declared counties are Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Howell, Jasper, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Pulaski, Pemiscot, Phelps, Reynolds, Scott, St. Francois, St. Louis, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, and Ripley.
- The registration process is free, takes about 20 minutes and you have a choice of three ways to explain your needs:
- Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov .
- Those with smartphones may register through m.FEMA.gov ; click “Apply Online for FEMA Assistance,” and you will be directed to www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- If you prefer to register by phone, the toll-free FEMA registration line is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). People with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. They may also use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362. Telephone registration is available ?????7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.? There have been no recent long waits to get through, but some hours are better than others.? If you call early or late you are likely to get right through to someone who can help you. Peak hours for calls are between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Consider calling between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. or 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Have some information ready when you register. When you call the FEMA number, you will need your current address, the address of the damaged property, contact information where FEMA can reach you, social security number, household composition, insurance, and income information.
- You can call again, as often as necessary, to add other information. Try to gather as much information as possible before you call, but don’t wait to call if something is missing.
- ?Register, even if you are insured. Your insurance may not cover all serious unmet needs. Some needs may not be known at first. Do not wait until you have settled with your insurer to register with FEMA.
- Return all forms promptly. You may receive a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan application package in the mail. Even if you are not interested in a loan, complete the loan package and return it promptly. The SBA application is a necessary step to understanding your situation and that information may allow you to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance, including grants for serious unmet needs.? If you have questions about SBA programs, call 800-659-2955 or visit www.sba.gov.
- Remember, disaster assistance covers a wide range of losses. Disaster-related damage or loss of personal property, may qualify for some form of federal assistance. Let FEMA determine your eligibility; don’t disqualify yourself.
- Keep appointments after you have registered. A contra...