COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Even if you have already registered with the U. S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it is important to keep in touch.
"As many as three applicants out of every ten forget to let FEMA know they have moved or changed phone numbers," said FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner.
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 being considered for some other forms of FEMA disaster assistance. If you have questions about SBA programs, call 800-659-2955 or visit www.sba.gov.
Within ten business days of registering for Individual Assistance (IA) programs, you should receive a packet from FEMA containing details of the disaster assistance program, a copy of your application and referrals to other potentially helpful programs.
If you haven't received the packet after ten days or if you need to update the information it contains, call FEMA's Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. Multi-language assistance is available. The Helpline is available daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., until further notice.
Top reasons why applicants may see a delay in receipt of disaster assistance:
- Inaccurate address, ZIP code or phone number on the application.
- Outdated registration information because applicants temporarily move in with family or friends, repeatedly changing contact addresses and phone numbers.
- Postal regulations forbid letter carriers from delivering mail to a mailbox that has blown down or toppled over -- a common situation after tornadoes or wind storms. Check with your local post office for directions on obtaining mail.
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.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.