FRANKFORT, Ky. -- FEMA grants are helping thousands of Kentucky families recover from the recent tornadoes, but you may have neighbors, friends or family members who have not registered for federal disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Your neighbors or friends may have misunderstandings about registration that may have kept them from getting all the recovery help they need.
“The important thing to tell your friends and neighbors is to register,” said Libby Turner, the federal officer in charge of Kentucky recovery. “That one step may unlock grants, low-interest loans, disaster unemployment assistance, and any other state or federal aid. Registering is as easy as picking up the telephone or going online.”
Your neighbors might say they have not registered with FEMA because they have insurance. Explain they may be eligible for help with uninsured or underinsured losses. Sometimes damage is found that insurance won’t cover but federal disaster assistance may. But your neighbor has to register with FEMA to get the help.
If your friend is still waiting for a visit from an insurance adjuster or for an insurance settlement, tell them to go ahead and register with FEMA because insurance may not meet all their needs. Federal assistance may be able to help solve this problem, but your friend must register with FEMA before the filing deadline of May 7 to be eligible.
Friends or neighbors also should go ahead with necessary repairs to make their house livable, but they must be sure to keep papers and receipts for all work as FEMA may require this documentation.
Some friends, neighbors or family members may think they make too much money to apply for assistance. However, most federal and Commonwealth disaster assistance programs are available to individuals of all income levels. The kind of help provided depends on the applicant's circumstances and unmet needs.
Sometimes folks think they did not have enough damage to their homes to apply for assistance. The damage caused by high winds or tornadoes and costs associated with repairs or rebuilding, may not be apparent for several weeks. By registering with FEMA now, you may be eligible for assistance if you find damage later.
If you have friends, neighbors or family members who are concerned FEMA disaster assistance will interrupt or interfere with federal assistance they are already receiving, let them know disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
Residents of Bath, Campbell, Carroll, Grant, Grayson, Kenton, Johnson, Larue, Lawrence, Laurel, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Ohio, Pendleton, Rowan, Russell, Trimble and Wolfe counties are eligible to register for federal disaster assistance from FEMA.
Emphasize to friends and neighbors the first step toward obtaining recovery assistance for individuals and businesses in the designated counties is to register with FEMA:
- By phone, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Assistance is available in many languages. Those who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech disability may use TTY 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service should call 800-621-3362.
- By computer, go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov.
Survivors who have questions about their registration may call the FEMA helpline at the number listed above. Survivors who are having difficulty registering also may go to a recovery center for assistance.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex...