Washington, DC -- Residents who have suffered disaster-related damages to their primary residences as the result of the August 10-12 flooding in the District of Columbia may apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). President Bush designated the District of Columbia a disaster area August 16. The designation opens the way for a wide range of federal disaster assistance programs for the victims of the District's flood.
Mayor Anthony Williams has designated District of Columbia Emergency Management Director Peter G. LaPorte as district coordinating officer. In this position, LaPorte will act as the District of Columbia's lead official for disaster recovery operations.
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate individuals for their entire loss. If an individual has insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under their insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other help may come in the form of loans.
"If you have suffered disaster-related damages as a homeowner, renter or business, you may qualify for assistance," said Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer. "Disaster-related needs may include temporary housing rental assistance, housing repairs, home clean-up for sewage and water damages, uninsured disaster-related medical expenses, as well as repair or replacement of household items such as water heaters and furnaces."
FEMA has established a toll-free telephone number to apply for disaster assistance. Those affected by the August flooding may apply for assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free number at 1-800-462-9029. The hours of operation are 8 AM to 6 PM, seven days a week. Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585.