Insured Should Apply for Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
January 7, 2013
Release Number: 
DR-4091-009

HUNT VALLEY, Md.Individuals, who suffered damage from Hurricane Sandy that occurred October 26 through November 4, and were insured, may still be eligible for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“If you were uninsured or your insurance policy did not cover some of your disaster-related damages or losses, FEMA may be able to help,” Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Lapinski said.  “If your insurance company did not fully cover your losses, take the first step and register with FEMA.”

To register or get further information, call – 1-800-621-FEMA or TTY 1-800-462-7585. For more information about this disaster, go to www.fema.gov/disaster/4091, www.mema.maryland.gov, www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Somerset County residents affected by Hurricane Sandy also can apply for federal assistance through a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone. Visit m.fema.gov and follow the link to apply online for federal assistance and other recovery help.

Even if disaster victims have insurance, they may be eligible for disaster assistance. In order to complete the application for assistance, however, FEMA will need the resident’s insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits.

“Disaster assistance is designed to cover uninsured and under-insured disaster-related losses, but cannot duplicate services and funds compensated by insurance claim or provided by another assistance program,” Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) Executive Director, Ken Mallette, said.

The disaster programs available include grants for temporary housing and repairs to make a home safe and sanitary, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters or business owners and other aid programs.

Uninsured and underinsured losses that may be covered by SBA low-interest loans include debris removal from personal property, damaged and destroyed fences, tree trimming services, tree replacement, damaged and destroyed sheds and other outbuildings and landscaping losses.

FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Residents should contact their insurance agent first, then if they have unmet needs they should call FEMA to apply. 

Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details to you when you call.  Once you have registered with FEMA, you will receive a nine digit Identification Number; if you have not received this number you have not formally registered and need to contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to obtain your registration number.

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.

Last Updated: 
January 7, 2013 - 11:23
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