ALBANY, N.Y. – A state and federal Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open in Oneida County on Thursday, October 13.
The center will be at the Fire Department, 171 Oriskany Boulevard, in Whitesboro.
The DRC will assist individuals, households and businesses affected by Tropical Storm Lee and the subsequent flooding, according to state and federal officials. Operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday, through Thursday, October 27.
The centers will be staffed with disaster-recovery specialists who can provide information and answer questions about storm-related assistance, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said.
FEMA strongly recommends that persons adversely affected by Tropical Storm Lee register before visiting a DRC. By phone, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. The toll-free line is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week until further notice. People with speech disabilities can use the TTY number, 800-462-7585. Applicants can also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with any web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Follow the link to "apply online for federal assistance."
Information needed when registering with FEMA includes the address of the damaged property, names of those living in the household, a general description of the damage, the Social Security number of any family member living in the home, the extent of insurance coverage and certain other information needed to expedite the process.
New York state agencies will join FEMA to provide services to the public at the centers. These include, but are not limited to, information about state disaster aid and help for unemployed persons and displaced workers as a result of the storm; information for senior citizens about state-funded programs; access to forms and services pertaining to motor vehicle issues; coordination and assistance with any needs for daycare services; and access to MyBenefits pre-screening tool. Representatives of these and other agencies will participate as determined by need.
Also on hand at the Disaster Recovery Centers will be specialists from the Small Business Administration (SBA) who can explain the low-interest loan packages available to individuals, nonprofits and businesses of any size. These loans are for the repair or replacement of real estate and/or personal property damaged by the storm and related flooding, officials said. People who register with FEMA will be sent a loan application from the SBA. No one is obligated to take out a loan, according to the SBA. Applicants have six months after approval to decide whether to accept the loan.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for transportation, medical and dental, and funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. Applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement and moving and storage expenses.
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.