HELENA, Mont. -- Disaster assistance is now available to residents and businesses in the following counties and reservations: Big Horn, Blackfeet Reservation, Carbon, Cascade, Crow Reservation, Custer, Fergus, Fort Belknap Reservation, Garfield, Hill, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Musselshell, Petroleum, Sweet Grass, Valley and Yellowstone for damages caused by flooding that began April 4, 2011, and continuing.
State and federal officials encourage those affected by the disaster to register for assistance immediately by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free line will be in operation from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. (CDT) until further notice. Registration can be accomplished anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov.
FEMA's Individual Assistance program includes a wide range of aid, including emergency home repair, temporary disaster housing, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or assistance programs. For those insured, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered by insurance.
Residents must register with FEMA at the above numbers or online to be eligible for all forms of federal assistance. Filing damage reports with state or county emergency managers or voluntary agencies will not start the federal disaster assistance process.
Officials advise applicants to have the following information available when applying for assistance:
- Current telephone number;
- Address at the time of the disaster and current address;
- Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses suffered;
- In cases where the applicant is insured, the names of the company and agent, as well as the policy number;
- Bank account coding for those who wish to speed up assistance by using direct deposit
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and typically does not compensate eligible applicants for their entire losses. FEMA disaster aid is generally offered in the form of grants that do not have to be paid back.
SBA offers low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes to repair or replace damaged or destroyed private property. SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans, low-interest working capital loans to small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations.
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.