PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota residents who need disaster aid because of the recent floods are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency now, before Hurricane Irene hits the East Coast.
"If a large population gets hit, it could cause a huge surge in calls on our registration line," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Neveau. "The online system should still be available, but it sure makes sense to spend 20 to 30 minutes now ahead of what could be a heavy demand."
More than 350 South Dakota households have already registered with FEMA because of the flooding from March 11 through July 22. Residents of Charles Mix, Hughes, Stanley and Union counties are eligible to register.
"Help yourself by registering now," said South Dakota State Coordinating Officer Kristi Turman. "You got flooded by water, but don't be flooded by a sea of applicants."
State and federal officials encourage those affected by the disaster to register for assistance by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585, or online at www.disasterassistance.gov. The toll-free line will be in operation from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week until further notice.
Persons affected by the floods can also apply for federal assistance through a web-enabled mobile device or Smartphone by going to m.fema.gov and following the link to apply online for federal assistance and other recovery help.
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
- A general list of damages and losses
- If insured, the name of the company, agent, and policy number
- Bank account and routing number for direct deposit of funds if you become eligible
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.