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Make Sure All Your Friends and Neighbors Contact FEMA for Assistance

Release date: 
November 13, 2012
Release Number: 

WINDSOR, Conn. – FEMA grants are helping thousands of Connecticut families recover from Hurricane Sandy, but you might have neighbors, friends or family members who have not registered for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Common misconceptions about registration may have discouraged them from registering.

“The important thing to tell all your friends and neighbors throughout the community is to register,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis. “That one step may unlock grants, low-interest loans, disaster unemployment assistance, and other state or federal aid. And registering is as easy as using a computer or smartphone, or calling a phone number, whether accessing us through an 800 number, through TTY, or our accessible website.”

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, and sometimes damage is found insurance won’t cover but federal disaster assistance may.  But your neighbor must 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 before the registration deadline because the settlement might come after the deadline has passed.

Friends or neighbors should go ahead with necessary repairs to make their house livable and be sure to keep papers and receipts for all work.

Some friends, neighbors or family members believe they make too much money to apply for assistance.

Most federal and state disaster assistance programs are available to individuals of all income levels. The types of help provided depend on each applicant's unique circumstances and unmet needs. The aid is to help individuals and communities come back as quickly as possible from a disaster.

Sometimes folks think they do not have enough damage to their homes to apply for assistance.

The damage caused by storms and the costs associated with repairs or rebuilding may not be apparent for some time. By registering with FEMA now, you may be eligible for assistance if you find damage later.

Assure friends, neighbors or family members that FEMA disaster assistance will not interfere with federal assistance they are already receiving.

Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, medical waiver programs, welfare assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other state programs), food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, or Social Security Disability Insurance.

People with storm losses should register with FEMA online at, with a smartphone or device at Applicants can also register by phone by calling FEMA at: 800-621-3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585.

Survivors who have questions about their registration may call the FEMA helpline at the numbers listed above or go to a Disaster Recovery Center for assistance.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

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.

For accessibility: The recommended font type is sans serif 12 point for regular print and sans serif 18 point when specifically printed for people with vision impairments.


Last Updated: 
November 13, 2012 - 16:46
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