FEMA'S Community Relations Teams Give and Gather Information

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Release date: 
November 7, 2011
Release Number: 
1998-015

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Relations (CR) specialists, in partnership with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD), are reaching out to all those impacted by the 2011 Missouri River flooding in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Pottawattamie counties.

FEMA CR teams are currently canvassing the affected communities encouraging individuals, business owners, and community and faith-based organizations to register with FEMA for disaster assistance.

If qualified, disaster assistance may include grants for temporary disaster-related housing needs, grants for essential repairs needed to make a residence safe, sanitary and functional, low-interest loans to repair or replace damaged property, and grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.

FEMA relies on its CR specialists to not only get information to survivors, but also to learn firsthand the problems survivors and communities are facing.

FEMA’s CR teams go door-to-door and talk with residents who have suffered damage or loss, and also talk with people on the street in an effort to reach out to everyone. In addition, CR teams meet with representatives of community-based agencies, nonprofit organizations, houses of worship, and with community leaders and public officials. Whenever a CR specialist identifies an unmet need, that information is communicated back to state and federal staff.

To begin the disaster assistance process, residents of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Pottawattamie counties will need to register with FEMA by one of the following ways:

  • To register for federal assistance, call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362);
  • Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 1-800-462-7585;
  • Or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362.
  • Lines are open 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., seven days a week until Dec. 19, 2011;
  • By visiting a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for face-to-face help;
  • Disaster survivors may also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov; or by Smartphone at m.fema.gov.

During registration, applicants will need to provide the following information:

  • A primary phone number and a reliable alternative number
  • Address of the damaged property
  • Your Social Security number
  • Current mailing address
  • A brief description of the damages
  • Insurance information (homeowner’s; business; renters; and flood)
  • Bank account information (for FEMA direct deposit) - optional
  • Proof of residency

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status.

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
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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