If your area was affected by a disaster, FEMA officials suggest you register for disaster assistance available even if you are not sure you qualify. This statement comes in response to nearing deadline in Cullman County, Alabama, where FEMA’s Nate Custer told the Cullman Times, “…Even if you are uncertain if you need or qualify for assistance, it’s important to register.”
The Importance of Registering
It is common for people who live in a disaster-affected area to believe that they do not qualify for assistance because they do not find any immediate problems with their homes or because they are able to live with friends or family members. However, homeowners often find damage within weeks of a disaster. Likewise, living arrangements with loved ones sometimes do not work out well. FEMA deadlines allow you to register yourself so you are in the system in the event you need to file a claim or ask a question.
FEMA often has resources available to those who experienced a disaster and register on time. For example, Custer states that FEMA can help a family secure a rental unit while their home undergoes the restoration process. Additionally, manufactured homes are available as a temporary living solution based on preference or if rental units are not available. Additional services include homeowner grants and business loans from the Small Business Association. However, an individual must register with FEMA by the deadline to access such services.
Where to Register
While FEMA often has physical sites where residents can register for assistance, individuals can also register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or over the phone by calling (toll-free) 1-800-621-3362.
Even if you think you are not eligible for disaster assistance, register and find out for certain. The funds provided by FEMA can help you recover from a flood or another disaster so your life can get back to normal.
[photo: Patsy Lynch]