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FEMA Application Process: Ways to Register, Tips When Phone Lines Are Busy

Release date: 
June 24, 2019
Release Number: 
NR 011

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas survivors who sustained property damage or loss caused by flooding and severe storms between May 21 and June 14 should assess damages and insurance coverage and apply for disaster assistance with FEMA if there are unmet needs.


Survivors in Arkansas, Conway, Crawford, Desha, Faulkner, Jefferson, Logan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Sebastian and Yell counties are eligible to apply for disaster assistance that may include money to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs or other disaster-related expenses.


Also, businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations and homeowners and renters may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help recover from losses not covered by insurance, grants or other sources.


How to apply for federal disaster assistance:

  1. Call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Multilingual operators are available. For TTY call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) can call 800-621- 3362.
  2. Go online at
  3. Use the FEMA app for smartphones – click to download the app by going to
  4. Survivors also can register with FEMA at a Disaster Recovery Center. Find the nearest center by going online to


Those who have insurance should contact their agent and then register with FEMA.


When calling FEMA, it is helpful to have the following information handy:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged primary residence or apartment
  • Description of damage
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • A current contact telephone number
  • An address where survivors can receive mail
  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds


When applying for assistance, survivors will receive a registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA.


The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and FEMA are committed to ensuring services and assistance are available for people with disabilities. When registering, survivors should let FEMA staff know they have a need or a reasonable accommodation request.


When Phone Lines Are Busy

When disaster survivors call FEMA's 1-800 number to register for disaster assistance, they may get a busy signal due to the heavy volume of calls.


Try if you have problems with getting through by phone. If you don't have a computer, your local library or a friend may be able to get you online. The screens will prompt you through the registration process.


You can also register using the FEMA mobile app available for Apple and Android mobile devices. Visit for more information.






FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. Follow us on Twitter at and the FEMA Blog at


For mitigation information and regularly updated disaster information go to: |


The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies. For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at


The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email or visit SBA at

Last Updated: 
June 26, 2019 - 08:14