CONCORD, N.H. – Visiting one of the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Carroll and Grafton counties is the best way to learn about the many paths toward recovering from storms and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
No resident is required to go to a DRC to be eligible for the various federally-funded recovery programs that became available when the president declared a major disaster as a result of Irene.
But those who do will have the opportunity to talk to representatives of:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
- New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEM).
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS), via telephone.
- Tri-County Community Action Program (Tri-County CAP).
It is an advantage to have already registered with FEMA for assistance before visiting a DRC, although it is not necessary. Call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to register. If you use a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 directly. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362 or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
The advantage of already being registered is that FEMA staff can look up your case while you are there and tell you how it is progressing. You can get the same information at FEMA’s toll-free number, but the face-to-face experience at the DRC makes it easier.
SBA experts at the DRCs can explain the several different kinds of low-interest, long-term disaster assistance loans that are available to homeowners and renters. Business owners who lost personal property may be eligible for a FEMA grant. But SBA business disaster loans for
damaged real property, inventory and equipment loss and economic injury due to the disaster can provide a far larger share of the recovery. Even businesses with no direct disaster damage are eligible for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
How to rebuild stronger and safer is the specialty of FEMA’s mitigation staff who also will be at the DRC. They can explain best practices for everything from structural repair to building site consideration and even how to elevate above the 100-year flood level.
Tri-County Community Action Program provides a variety of services that may meet needs not otherwise covered.
Since the first DRC opened on Sept. 12, there have been 112 visits by people in C...