INDIANAPOLIS — Even if Indiana residents have previously reported damage or losses to state or local emergency officials, voluntary agencies or called 2-1-1, they could be missing out on financial help if they do not apply directly for disaster assistance.
Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the tornadoes must contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) directly to register for federal disaster grant assistance.
Earlier local and county reports were used for the damage assessment process; they are not an application for federal assistance.
One easy way to apply is to call the telephone registration line, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). For speech-or hearing-impaired applicants, the TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 and Video Relay Service may be accessed at 1-800-621-3362. Those lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Registration is also possible in the following ways:
Applicants should have information at hand when registering — current address and phone number, the address of the damaged property, Social Security number, the names of the people that make up the household, bank routing and account numbers and information about income and any insurance.
Even residents with insurance are urged to apply if they had losses. By law, assistance grants cannot duplicate insurance benefits, but insurance may not cover all damage.
Federal disaster aid was made available on March 9 to the State of Indiana to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes during the period of Feb. 29 to March 3, 2012 in Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties.
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.