WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Homeowners, renters and business owners in Berkshire and Franklin counties have one month left to register for federal disaster assistance to cover damage and losses from Tropical Storm Irene.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said today that the deadline for residents to apply for disaster assistance is Wednesday, November 2, 2011.
“Don’t disqualify yourself for possible aid by failing to register,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark H. Landry. “Even if your losses were minimal or you have insurance, registering with FEMA before the deadline covers you for possible disaster program funding and other expenses that may occur beyond the deadline.”
Call the toll-free hotline daily, from 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a hearing or speech disability can call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Individuals and business owners also can register for help online at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by mobile electronic devices at m.fema.gov.
FEMA and state recovery aid to residents may include:
- grants for emergency disaster housing and essential repairs;
- grants for necessities not covered by insurance or other sources;
- low-interest disaster loans from the SBA; and
- federal disaster unemployment assistance.
People who have registered with the American Red Cross or other volunteer and civic agencies also must register with FEMA if they want access to the wide array of federal and state aid that became available when a federal disaster declaration was approved for Berkshire and Franklin counties by the president.
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.