FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance Program Helping Ala. Katrina Victims

December 1, 2005

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency can help Hurricane Katrina survivors cover the costs of necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster.

The Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program may pay for items and services such as medical and dental care, funeral costs and transportation expenses. An individual may receive ONA if they are uninsured or under-insured and unable to meet such expenses through any other means. If household income is below a certain level or an applicant doesn’t qualify for a low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA), they may become eligible for ONA.

What is Other Needs Assistance?

If you or someone in your family was injured or became ill as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina, ONA may help pay the medical bills. Dental costs relating to the disaster – such as tooth damage, dental surgery, or dentures that were lost in the storm – may also be considered for ONA. Other Needs Assistance funding is available to help a family pay for the funeral of a relative when the death is a result of the hurricane.

FEMA’s ONA program may help disaster survivors repair or replace certain personal property including clothing, household furnishings, appliances, tools or computers needed for work. ONA grants may also help repair or replace cars and other vehicles necessary for transportation. The money can also be used for moving and storing personal property to avoid additional damage while disaster repairs are being made to the home. Other items for which eligible applicants may be reimbursed include generators, dehumidifiers or chain saws.

If you are in a designated disaster area and believe you may be eligible for assistance through FEMA’s ONA program, call the teleregistration and Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); for the speech- or hearing-impaired the TTY number is 800-462-7585. The line operates from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. The last day to register is Jan. 11, 2006.

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