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Staying in Touch With FEMA Speeds Assistance

Release date: 
July 20, 2011
Release Number: 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Disaster survivors who registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance need to keep their contact information up to date to avoid delays processing their application.

To inform FEMA of address or phone number changes, call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free helpline operates daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. The same numbers can be used to register with FEMA until the Aug. 9 deadline.

Those who registered online at can update their information at that site. If they registered by phone, they can go to the website, create an account and then make changes online.

Applicants generally receive a response from FEMA within 10 days after registering. Anyone who has not received mail from FEMA more than 10 days after registration should call 800-621-3362.

After receiving the FEMA packet, it's important to return forms promptly.

Some survivors will be sent a Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loan application. Applicants will not be required to borrow money, but some types of FEMA assistance can only be provided after the loan package has been completed and returned.

For questions about SBA programs and help completing the loan application, call 800-659-2955 or visit

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 housing assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants for medical, dental, and funeral 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 considered for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.  Applicants who do not qualify for a SBA loan may be eligible to receive Other Needs Assistance grants for these items.

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: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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