This is what you need to know about FEMA assistance for Eastern Kentucky flooding [Lexington Herald-Leader]
Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Residents struggling to rebuild their lives in the Eastern Kentucky counties devastated by flooding should first call their insurance company and then the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance, but if you’re uninsured or your policy doesn’t cover all your expenses or flood losses, you may be eligible for federal assistance.
The federal agency announced Saturday that President Joe Biden had approved individual disaster assistance for people in Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties.
That assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help people and businesses recover from the flooding.
Impacted by Eastern KY floods? Here’s what to know about insurance, what it covers
How to apply for individual disaster assistance from FEMA
To register for assistance, go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. You can also apply through the FEMA mobile phone app.
If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service. You can find an accessible video about how to apply for FEMA relief online.
The agency has also opened mobile assistance centers for those who would like to apply in person.
On Monday, FEMA opened a mobile registration center in Knott County, one of the hardest-hit counties. Centers in Clay, Breathitt, Letcher and Perry have since opened.
The hours for all of the centers are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The locations are as follows:
Here’s where Eastern KY flood victims can find FEMA registration centers in 5 counties
What do you need to apply?
According to FEMA, applicants should have the following on hand when they apply:
Tips for applying for FEMA assistance
The Herald-Leader spoke with FEMA spokesperson Nate Custer, who encouraged disaster victims to apply for assistance with the agency, even if they have flood insurance.
Before applying, Custer said, call your insurance company. FEMA representatives need to know if there’s been any insurance settlement and what insurance will and won’t cover.
When you do apply to FEMA for aid, Custer advised only one person per household register. Don’t have two people at the same address register, he told the Herald-Leader.
FEMA representatives will be going door-to-door in the coming days, Custer said. They will carry badges with photo ID and tablets, enabling them to start your application and answer questions.
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Once someone has registered, Custer said, they are given a special, nine-digit PIN they can use to follow up on the status of their claim.
FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but it can assist in areas you may be under-insured. Custer said the agency can offer low-interest loans that in recent years have been as low as 2% interest.
Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration can help homeowners and renters, Custer said, adding it’s a common misconception that the agency only helps businesses. Custer encouraged landlords and renters to apply with the SBA as well.
Assistance from FEMA and the SBA “can make the difference for people,” Custer said.
This story may be updated.
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