LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- You have to register for everything, from dating sites to auto clubs. If you confuse the two, you won't get the results you're hoping for.
It's the same with disaster assistance. You may have registered with the state or one of the volunteer aid groups working in Arkansas, but if you didn't register specifically with FEMA, you won't be eligible to tap the assistance resources provided by either state or federal sources.
Registration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is simple. It's also the first step in establishing your eligibility for federal and state help. You can call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585 daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; multilingual operators are available. Or, register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via a web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov.
The registration deadline is August 1 for residents of the 37 counties designated under the May 2 presidential disaster declaration. Meanwhile, the registration date for residents of Franklin and Johnson counties, which received a separate declaration on July 8, is Sept. 6.
This year, more than 10,000 Arkansans have registered with FEMA to determine their eligibility for Individual Assistance grants from FEMA or low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
So, don't confuse signing up with a volunteer agency or anyone else with registering with FEMA, or you won't get the results you're hoping for!
FEMA also has a number of social media outlets to permit anyone to follow developments in the Arkansas disaster recovery. Find FEMA tweets about recovery efforts at www.twitter.com/femaregion6. Other online resources include blog.fema.gov, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.
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.