No Matter What Language You Speak, FEMA Can Help

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Release date: 
September 17, 2011
Release Number: 

ALBANY, N.Y. -- If you or someone you know needs to apply for federal disaster assistance in a language other than English, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can connect you with someone who literally speaks your language.

Callers from New York counties designated for Individual Assistance under the federal disaster declarations which followed Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee will be put in touch with interpreters who can help them with the aid application process.

“We want to reach everyone who has suffered damages in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, no matter what language they speak,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Philip E. Parr.

Dial the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 and tell the representative on the line the language in which you communicate best. Callers will then be connected via conference call with an interpreter and a FEMA representative who can help you apply for disaster assistance. The toll-free line is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week until further notice.

People with hearing disabilities can call the TTY line at 800-462-7585. Applicants can also register online at  or with a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at Follow the link to “apply for federal assistance.”

“If you have a friend or relative who communicates best in a language other than English, please let them know FEMA's toll-free number. We have interpreters fluent in most of the world's languages,” Parr said.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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