FEMA extends deadline

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Contributed Report

MONTGOMERY, Al. -The deadline for registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been extended until January 11, 2006 for all Gulf Coast residents with disaster-related damage or loss caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is good news for Alabamians.

“FEMA wants to make certain all storm survivors who are qualified for assistance are able to register for the wide range of

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help available to them,” saidMichael Bolch, senior deputy federal coordinating officer.

“This extension makes extra time available to those who had to deal with clogged lines during the overload of initial registration activity. Those delays were regrettable but we will make good our commitment to help anyone with an unmet need caused by this devastating storm.”

By law, the registration period closes 60 days after the President issues a major disaster declaration unless circumstances dictate an extension. President Bush declared portions ofAlabama eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance programs on August 29.

Sometimes individuals feel their damage is too slight to qualify for aid, or that others may have a greater need.

However, they should not prejudge whether or not to register for help The State of Alabama Emergency Management Agency and FEMA work together to provide a wide range of programs and services for disaster affected residents. Help is also available through a number of voluntary organizations. Residents and evacuees are referred to these organizations for many types of services.

“The extent of a person’s immediate losses may not be the only reason for registering with FEMA,” said

Bruce Baughman, state coordinating officer. “Financial, legal, health and employment problems are four major areas where help may be needed. Extending the deadline for registering means anyone who hesitated or is not sure they should ask for help still has time to call and complete an application form.”

FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs and will not normally compensate for the entire loss.

While insurance may cover significant costs during recovery, the government may still help pay for basic needs not covered under the policy. Assistance may also be offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, who provides low-interest loans. Registering with FEMA means the applicant will get information on a range of programs.


Page 2- Extension in Registration Deadline Aids Alabamians

To date, 112,154 residents of the state have registered, resulting in $109 million in approved aid.

Alabama residents and displaced evacuees now living temporarily in the state who suffered damage caused by the hurricane should call the FEMA toll-free registration number, 800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those who are speech- or hearing-impaired.

The registration line remains open seven days a week, 24-hours a

day. Multilingual operators are available to help applicants in a variety of languages. Applicants may also register online by going to the FEMA website at http://www.fema.gov.