The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to register for disaster assistance by Jan. 11, 2006. The deadline is important for anyone planning to take advantage of FEMA’s programs to assist individuals and households.
Disaster assistance eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis and may include:
* Rental assistance.
* Grants to help pay for minor home repairs.
* Grants to replace furniture and other personal property not covered by insurance or other sources, for both homeowners and renters.
* Grants to cover serious needs and necessary expenses caused by the disaster and not covered by insurance or other sources.
* Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover uninsured or underinsured losses to the primary residence and its contents.
* Other assistance such as free crisis counseling and free legal aid.
Individuals who may have registered with the Red Cross also should register with FEMA. The toll-free registration number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- and hearing-impaired. Information is available in multiple languages.
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