A toll-free application telephone number is now operational for those who suffered property damage or loss in the declared counties affected by the severe storms, flooding, and mudslides beginning Dec. 22 through Feb. 1, 2005
Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Nancy Dragani, state coordinating officer and executive director of Ohio Emergency Management Agency, said those affected by the disaster may apply for assistance immediately by calling this toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Individuals with Internet access now have the option to register on the agency’s Web site at http://www.fema.gov, where valuable recovery information is also available.
In response to a request from Governor Bob Taft, President Bush signed a major disaster declaration designating the counties of Athens, Belmont, Clark, Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Logan, Morgan, Muskingum Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Warren and Washington eligible for federal aid to help meet the recovery needs of stricken residents and business owners.
Homeowners, business owners and renters in these counties may now be eligible for a wide range of programs such as funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace damaged property, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs, and disaster unemployment assistance.
“Your phone call is your application for both state and federal assistance available under the disaster declaration. Telephone application has proven to be the simplest, quickest, most efficient and confidential way to apply,” Champagne said.
“It’s important that severely affected residents get the assistance available to them as quickly as possible,” Dragani said. “Following the process will help ensure qualified residents with unmet needs get help.”
Residents who have already registered with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or another voluntary agency or have reported damage to county or local officials, can apply for the federal and state assistance programs by calling FEMA’s toll-free number or by logging onto http://www.fema.gov.
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