FROM STAFF REPORTS
The deadline to apply for disaster aid for damages resulting from the late-June/early-July derecho has been extended to Dec. 19, according to a joint announcement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM).
“We don’t want people with uninsured damages to their homes or businesses to miss the opportunity to register, especially with many of those same people recovering from Hurricane Sandy” said Robert Hoban, federal coordinating officer. “That is why we are extending the deadline.”
Residents affected by the derecho in the disaster-designated counties are encouraged to register with FEMA for assistance if they have not already done so. The disaster-designated counties are: Boone, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Roane, Tyler, Webster and Wood.
The fastest and easiest way to register is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. You may also register on your smartphone at m.fema.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may call FEMA’s toll-free hotline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for the deaf or hard of hearing.
After the application deadline, FEMA’s toll-free phone line will still be available to assist those who have already registered. Applicants who have questions about disaster assistance programs or questions about the status of their previously filed applications should continue to use FEMA’s toll-free number.
To date, 849 West Virginia residents have been approved for over $2 million in disaster assistance. To stay updated on the derecho recovery effort, go to www.fema.gov/disaster/4071.
Temporary housing assistance from FEMA does not require that an applicant file for an SBA loan. However, an applicant must complete an SBA loan application to be eligible for additional assistance under the part of the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
There are other ONA grants such as public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses that do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan to be eligible. FEMA will process applications for housing assistance regardless of whether the applicant has applied for an SBA loan, and eligibility determinations for applicants requesting FEMA’s temporary housing assistance will not be held up because the applicant has or has not filled out an SBA application.