COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Three additional counties have now been added to the President's original federal disaster declaration of October 7, 2004. There are now a total of 28 counties designated for individual assistance.
"The original declaration, for the counties of Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg, Sumter, Williamsburg and York, has been amended to include Berkeley, Charleston and Georgetown counties for individual assistance," said Michael Bolch, Federal Coordinating Officer for the disaster.
Homeowners, renters and business owners located in counties designated for individual assistance may apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs that include funding for temporary disaster housing assistance and other disaster related needs as well as long term, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
State and federal officials urge disaster victims in all of the designated counties to call the toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for speech and hearing impaired persons. This is the first and most important step in receiving assistance.
The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice. Because of the widespread hurricane activity, call volume remains extremely high. If possible, try calling in the evening after 6:00 p.m. or on weekends. If you get a busy signal, please be patient and call again later. Don't get discouraged.
When calling, residents are advised to have a telephone number where they can be reached, their social security number, a general list of damages and losses suffered, any insurance policy information or their agent's name and general financial information. Individuals can also find valuable recovery information on FEMA's website at //www.fema.gov
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.