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Take Charge of Your Recovery

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Release date: 
April 10, 2012
Release Number: 

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- While there was nothing Kentuckians could do to stop the storms that started Feb. 29 and triggered devastating tornadoes across the Commonwealth, there is plenty those with losses can do – with the help of state and federal disaster assistance – to speed recovery:

Register and File:
File your insurance claim and register for state and federal disaster aid; help is only a phone call away.

There are three ways to register with FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance: call 800-621-FEMA (3362), register online at, or register using a tablet or smartphone by visiting Help is available in many languages. Disaster applicants who use TTY should call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service should call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, every day.

Register, even if you are insured. Your insurance coverage may not be adequate to cover all of your losses.

After Registering:
Keep your information up to date. Use the Helpline option at the FEMA registration toll-free number to update your contact information, including a new address or phone number.

You are only a toll-free phone call away—if you have any questions about federal disaster assistance, FEMA’s multilingual operators are standing by to help.

Complete and return the U.S. Small Business Administration loan application even if you do not own a business.

If you received a loan application from the SBA when you registered for disaster assistance, you should fill it out and return it.

The loan application is a necessary step for homeowners and renters to getting some federal disaster assistance. Homeowners and renters who don’t qualify for an SBA loan may be eligible for a FEMA grant.

But the SBA loan application must be submitted first.

Contact SBA representatives at SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers or by phone at 800-659-2955 who can help with the application. Online assistance is available at

Applicants also may visit the SBA Web site at or email

A second reason to complete the SBA loan application is that recovering from a disaster may require more funds than home or business owners first realize. For example, you may discover mold in your home or office that has to be professionally removed. Applicants are not obligated to accept the loan once they are approved.

Read all FEMA letters and documents
After registering with FEMA, you will get a letter telling you the outcome of your application. Federal assistance may have to be repaid if it is duplicated by insurance or other assistance received. If you have questions about a letter you have received, call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).

Be Smart In Your Recovery
Invest “sweat equity” in rebuilding your life. Dry out and disinfect your residence to prevent long-term problems with mold and mildew. As temperatures rise following storms, it is important to make sure your homes are thoroughly dried out to prevent mold and mildew buildup before rebuilding starts.  This is especially important if your home has been open to the elements, even if only a couple of windows were broken.  For additional clean up and safety tips, go to:

Choose a licensed contractor. Take time to careful...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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