In addition to registered households, money for housing assistance has also increased from $1.7 million to over $2.5 million and over $130,000 has been approved to help meet other disaster related needs like personal property expenses and transportation. Approximately 1,283 homes have been inspected by FEMA to make sure all losses are counted.
Jay Moore, public information officer for FEMA, encourages anyone affected by June's flooding to register with FEMA even if the damage is minimal. Help can be found by contacting FEMA's toll free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by visiting one of the three disaster recovery centers set up in Logan County, McDowell County, or Wyoming County.
The following information will be requested regardless of the manner of registration: name and social security number; address of the damaged property; current address and telephone number; insurance information; total household annual income; bank account information for direct deposit; and description of losses caused by the disaster.
"The registration process is designed to get you in the system, but it can't cover everything that may be applicable to every case," said Moore. "When you go to the center, there are knowledgeable, warm, caring folks that will ask you about your case specifically. When calling FEMA's hotline, you will speak to a real person with experience in these situations. The process is painless and generally takes about 15 minutes to register."
Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration have been set up at the centers to help small business owners. One part of the registration that may prove to be integral is applying for a SBA loan. Moore said many times applicants do not return the loan applications and they do not become fully registered. If given a loan application, it should filled out and returned to continue the registration process, however, accepting the loan is not mandatory.
Flood victims can get more personalized help at the recovery centers, such as whether amendments to prior year income tax returns would be beneficial to them. Flood victims can also learn how and what to do to protect their home from floods in the future from the representatives.
Moore encourages flood victims to purchase flood insurance if not already covered and to keep up to date on flood insurance if coverage has been acquired. Flood victims are also eligible for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). NFIP can be purchased from any insurance agent and victims are eligible for the coverage once receiving assistance. In some cases, FEMA will pay the insurance premiums for three years as well.
The disaster recovery centers are located at: Logan High School, 1 Wildcat Way, Logan, W.Va., 25601; National Guard Armory, 600 Stewart St. on State Highway 16, Welch, W.Va., 24801; and Hanover Head Start Center, Old Rt. 52 S., next to Huff Consolidated School, Hanover, W.Va., 24839. The centers are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.