Calling 2-1-1 or Filing an Insurance Claim Does Not Register You with FEMA

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Release date: 
November 27, 2012
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WARWICK, R.I. - To receive federal disaster assistance, Rhode Islanders who experienced losses because of Hurricane Sandy and called the state's 2-1-1 line must also register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The same applies to those who filed a flood insurance claim. They must register with FEMA to obtain assistance with essential needs not covered by insurance. Registering with 2-1-1 or filing a flood insurance claim does NOT register you with FEMA.

"Some Rhode Islanders mistakenly believe they registered for help from FEMA when they called 2-1-1 or their insurance company," said Federal Coordinating Officer Nick Russo, who leads FEMA's mission in Rhode Island. "We want to make sure everyone knows they have to contact FEMA directly to become eligible for federal assistance."

To register with FEMA, go online to or to if using a smartphone or call FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362).  Multilingual registration assistance is available. People with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly; or 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until further notice.

Individual assistance to homeowners and renters includes grants to cover expenses for temporary housing, home repair, and other serious disaster-related needs and expenses, such as replacement of personal property and medical, dental or transportation costs that are not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.

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.

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.

FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

Last Updated: 
November 27, 2012 - 15:27
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