INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- In the wake of disasters, people often wonder whether there is a way to protect themselves and their property from devastating loss. The answer is yes!
Mitigation specialists from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be at Menards, 2808 Menards Drive, Evansville, Ind., this week to offer free information and answer questions about rebuilding.
The FEMA team will be in the store beginning March 29 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday April 1.
In addition to answering questions, mitigation specialists will have information about how to rebuild safer and stronger and provide steps that may lessen storm damage in a future disaster. This ranges from creating a disaster family plan to building a "safe room" -- a shelter designed to provide occupants a safe place to go when severe weather threatens.
As people repair or rebuild, this is an ideal time for them to incorporate disaster-resistant measures. Small changes can make a big difference the next time storms strike and can lessen the damage and financial impact on individuals, communities and society as a whole. An independent study shows each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of $4 by reducing future losses due to disasters.
A series of free mitigation publications is available at www.fema.gov or by calling (800) 480-2520. These include: Taking Shelter from the Storm, Rebuilding for a More Sustainable Future, Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting and Understanding Your Risks and Identifying Hazards and Estimating Losses.
Survivors can apply for federal disaster assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free registration number (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or TTY (800) 462-7585 for speech- or hearing-impaired applicants. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services (VRS) should call (800) 621-3362. Registration is also available online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by smart phone or tablet at m.fema.gov.
May 8 is the last day to register for assistance.
Federal disaster aid was made available on March 9 to the State of Indiana to supplement state and local recovery efforts for homeowners, renters and business owners 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.