Evacuees Must Register with FEMA to Obtain Disaster Aid

November 15, 2005

Many of the thousands of hurricane evacuee families calling the Dallas Metroplex home these days have not registered for disaster assistance, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who is helping them re-settle their lives.

“Evacuees in the Dallas area, whether you are a renter, homeowner or business owner who sustained losses as a result of Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, don’t hesitate to call to register for disaster assistance,” said Sandy Coachman, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for the Texas recovery.

To register, call 800-621-FEMA (3362). Service is available at TTY 800-462-7585 for hearing- or speech-impaired applicants. FEMA’s number is working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This call to FEMA will start the process with federal and state programs designed to assist in your recovery,” said Frank Cantu, state coordinating officer for the Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management. “It is important to remember that registering with other agencies – such as the American Red Cross or the county emergency management office – will not connect you with FEMA or Texas disaster assistance programs. When you register with FEMA, you will receive a FEMA registration ID number.”

For most evacuees the greatest need is housing. Many individuals and families are living in hotels, motels, temporary fixed facilities and with family or friends while deciding whether to return to their former communities or seek housing and employment elsewhere.

FEMA Housing Assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other sources. Low-interest loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also are available for residential and business losses not covered by insurance.

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