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Have You Registered Yet?

Release date: 
July 30, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4447-OH NR 020

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Everyone has the tendency to put some things off because they have so many other things to do. But, if you suffered damage to your home or business during the Memorial Day Weekend storms, what has kept you from registering with FEMA? Is it because:

You don’t know what FEMA can provide?
o Register with FEMA by the cutoff date, Monday, August 19 and learn about the help that may be available to you.

You think registering with the Red Cross or your county officials means you’re automatically registered with FEMA?
o It does not. You have to register directly with FEMA.

You’re a renter?
o FEMA grants and SBA loans are not just for homeowners. Both agencies may provide assistance to help renters who lost personal property or who were displaced.

You have insurance and you think that makes you ineligible for FEMA’s help?
o You can still register with FEMA. By federal regulations, FEMA cannot duplicate the assistance you may get from your insurance, but it can provide supplemental assistance if your insurance falls short in covering your losses.

You’ve already made the needed repairs, so it’s too late?
o Even if you made repairs you can still register with FEMA. Photographs of the damage will be helpful, and receipts will be valuable.

You think FEMA only makes loans and you don’t want to have to pay back a loan?
o FEMA gives grants which do not have to be paid back.

You fear receiving FEMA assistance could affect your Social Security benefits, taxes, food stamps or Medicaid?
o FEMA assistance does not affect benefits from other federal programs and is not considered taxable income by the IRS.

You doubt the damage you suffered is enough to merit FEMA’s attention?
o Let FEMA judge if you are eligible for federal assistance.

You’re not a U.S. citizen, so you think you’re not eligible?
o Only U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents qualify for federal disaster assistance. However, undocumented families can apply if one family member is a citizen with a Social Security number, even if that member is a minor child. The minor child must live with the parent or guardian applying on the child’s behalf.

You don’t want to take money that might help someone more in need than you?
o FEMA does not weigh one survivor’s needs against another’s. If you are eligible, FEMA will provide funds to help start your recovery process.

Registering with FEMA is easy and there are several ways to do it:
• Go online to
• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are on duty.
• Use FEMA’s disaster app on your smartphone. To download it, go to
Information on how to apply for low-interest SBA loans for businesses and residents is available online at You may also call 800-659-2955 or email Individuals who are deaf or low-hearing may call 800-877-8339.


FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during and after disasters.

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 800-621-3362 or TTY at 800-462-7585. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. All Disaster Recovery Centers are physically accessible and equipped to accommodate disaster survivors who need communication access. If you require an accommodation (ASL interpreter, Braille, Large print, etc.) while visiting a Disaster Recovery Center, just ask a FEMA representative.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)) 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 non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Last Updated: 
July 31, 2019 - 10:48