HELENA, Mont. -- Visitors to the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Montana staffed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) were overwhelmingly satisfied with the experience, according to an intra-agency survey.
"They were very helpful," one visitor said of the FEMA specialists manning the centers. "They answered all my questions and even some I didn't bring up. They've been great."
A critical function of FEMA's disaster-recovery efforts are the centers, where those seeking information on post-disaster aid can speak face-to-face with disaster specialists. Homeowners, renters and business owners who were affected by flooding this spring in Montana will find answers to many queries about how they can secure needed assistance.
"We are very proud of how efficient and compassionate our disaster-recovery people are," said Helena-based Federal Coordinating Officer Doug Mayne. "Getting help out to people hit by a disaster is a basic FEMA objective, and we're thrilled that the response from folks stopping by at our DRCs has been so positive."
FEMA personnel from the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., make random phone calls to assistance applicants who have called at the DRCs to poll their reactions to the service they received and their overall satisfaction. The results of the surveys are distributed to FEMA officials working on a given disaster to give them an idea of the quality of the services the DRCs are providing.
"We want to make sure those affected by any disaster get every bit of help they are eligible for," FEMA Individual Assistance Director Martin McNeese said. "These surveys are important in making sure we are doing our job, and doing it well."
The 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, nonprofit organizations fund repairs and 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. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1-800-977-8339).
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.