COLUMBIA, Mo. -- To help individuals affected by the recent tornado, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a team in Pettis County meeting with disaster survivors to tell them about disaster assistance that may be available to help with their recovery.
The Community Relations specialists are on the ground where survivors and local officials continue to make strides toward recovery and rebuilding the tornado-affected community. These FEMA specialists are wearing the familiar blue FEMA shirt, going door-to-door in affected neighborhoods. Their goal is to reach out to as many disaster survivors as possible, providing information about available federal assistance.
"Having our men and women actively canvass affected communities is a critical component of FEMA's disaster recovery strategy," says Federal Coordinating Officer Libby Turner "Working directly in these communities helps us provide needed assistance in a very timely and efficient manner, and allows us to better look after the elderly, individuals with functional or special needs, and those with unmet needs.”
As they visit homes, businesses and churches in Pettis County, the team is educating people about federal assistance programs and are answering questions about the assistance process.
To Register for Assistance
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.
Registration may be completed online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by smartphone through m.FEMA.gov, or by calling FEMA's toll-free registration line 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. Telephone registration is available daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., until further notice.
Spreading the Word: Assistance is Available
To date, FEMA's Community Relations team members have moved across Missouri, distributing thousands of disaster assistance registration flyers, meeting with scores of community, business, faith-based and nonprofit organizations, providing critical information to community leaders and public officials as they serve their constituents, and have visited hundreds of impacted homes and businesses.
Thousands of brochures regarding tele-registration, FEMA's "Help After a Disaster," and a variety of resource fact sheets on safe clean-up practices, crisis counseling and local, state and non-profit resources currently available have also been distributed. This information has been provided in both English and Spanish, as well as to those with functional needs and physical impairments.
FEMA also encourages disaster survivors to remember the convenience and ease-of-access the Internet provides in terms of getting disaster assistance information.
FEMA has established a website dedicated to this disaster (www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=14395), and a Twitter account (www.twitter.com/femaregion7) that provides up-to-the-minute disaster recovery information.
Additional Background Notes for the Media:
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
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, p...