Time is running out for anyone hit with losses from Hurricane Sandy to seek state-federal disaster recovery assistance. The deadline to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency is Monday, January 14.
"Don't assume you wouldn't qualify for assistance," said FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer James N. Russo. "Let us figure that out. We want to ensure that everyone who is eligible receives help. If Sandy caused you any kind of losses--regardless of whether you are a property owner, renter, have already cleaned up or made repairs or have insurance--call or go online and register now."
FEMA-state assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, uninsured vehicle damage, lost or damaged personal property and many other costs incurred because of Hurricane Sandy.
State and federal officials particularly want to remind anyone who has insurance, including flood insurance, to go ahead and register with FEMA. Once you are registered, you can go back to FEMA down the road for help if insurance shortfalls result in uncompensated losses. But if you don't register before the deadline, FEMA will not be able to help you cover those losses. Registration keeps the financial assistance option open.
Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, via smartphone at m.fema.gov, or by calling 800-621-3362. The phone line is open from 8 a.m.--10 p.m. Multilingual recovery specialists are available. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly; or 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service. Rhode Islanders with questions about federal disaster assistance or their registration may call 800-621-3362 and select the "help" option.
Low interest disaster loans are vital to full recovery for many who had storm damage. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides these loans, not just for businesses, but also for renters, homeowners, businesses of any size and private non-profits to cover uncompensated real or personal property losses. The deadline to apply for an SBA loan is Tuesday, January 15.
SBA disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 temporary housing assistance and grants for medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial 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 eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.