ALBANY, N.Y. -- Property owners and renters who suffered damage from storms and floods caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee may still be eligible for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) even if they have insurance policies.
"FEMA may be able to help you if you are underinsured or if your insurance policy does not cover some of your disaster-related expenses or losses" said Federal Coordinating Officer Philip E. Parr. "So take the first step and apply with FEMA."
Property owners and renters affected by the storms should contact their insurance agents first. If they find they have unmet needs they should call FEMA and apply. A FEMA representative will explain the forms of assistance available when you call.
There are several ways to apply. The FEMA Helpline is 1-800 621-3362 (multilingual assistance is available by phone.) Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week until further notice. The TTY line for people with hearing impairments is 1-800-462-7585. Or register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or with a Smartphone at m.fema.gov.
The deadline to apply for disaster assistance connected to Hurricane Irene is Oct. 31, 2011. The deadline to apply for assistance relating to Tropical Storm Lee is Nov. 14, 2011.
Federal programs available include grants for temporary housing, grants to cover repairs to make a home safe, and other aid programs including disaster unemployment assistance for self-employed individuals. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for homeowners, renters, business owners, churches and other nonprofit groups.
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.