All storm victims are urged to apply for federal help
Residents and business owners whose property was damaged by the severe storms, flooding and landslides this year can apply immediately for federal emergency assistance to repair and rebuild.
Edward Texeira, vice director of the state Civil Defense Agency, will coordinate the disaster recovery effort set in motion Tuesday by President Bush's major disaster declaration. The state agency will administer the issuing of grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a FEMA announcement yesterday.
The presidential declaration provides help for Kauai and Oahu victims of storms between Feb. 20 and April 2, not only repair work, but temporary housing costs if they were displaced. Small Business Administration loans will be available for losses not fully paid by insurance.
Federal recovery funding is also available to the state and counties, and to some private nonprofit organizations. The government agencies may receive FEMA hazard mitigation grants for work that would reduce or eliminate threat of future damage.
Everyone who suffered losses due to the storms should register with FEMA, even if they have insurance, said Mike Karl, federal coordinating officer. Assistance could help with uninsured and underinsured losses or expenses.
Applicants can register by telephone or on the Internet. They should be prepared with personal information and information about their insurance coverage, policy number and agent's name, and proof of residency. They will need to make a concise statement of the type, location and extent of damage.
Applicants should register online at www.fema.gov. They may call 800-621-3362. People with hearing or speech impairments may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers will be in operation from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until further notice.