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Federal disaster assistance available for 7 Kentucky counties

ATLANTA – Survivors in seven Kentucky counties affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding Feb. 29 through March 3should apply now for federal assistance.

Federal funding is available to affected individuals in Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Menifee, Morgan and Pendleton counties.

Assistance is available in the form of grants for temporary housing, basic home repairs, other serious disaster-related needs and low-interest disaster loans.

Renters, homeowners and business owners may qualify for help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). However, they must apply for assistance. The process takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Registration is available online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Operators speak many languages. Disaster applicants who use TTY should call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) should call 800-621-3362.

The toll-free FEMA registration numbers are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.

Survivors also can apply for federal assistance directly through Web-enabled mobile phone devices or smartphones. Registration through the mobile site takes three steps:

Go to m.fema.gov and click “Apply Online for FEMA Assistance.” You will be directed to www.DisasterAssistance.gov;
Click on Start Registration; and
Fill out the registration form.

FEMA will ask for the following information:

• The telephone number where applicants can be reached;
• The address where applicants lived at the time of the disaster and the address where they are staying;
• Their Social Security number;
• A general description of damage to property and other losses;
• The name of the insurance company and policy number or agent if the property is insured; and
• Bank account routing information for direct deposit of funds.

People whose property suffered any storm damage are encouraged to document damage with photographs and to save repair receipts. Damage should be reported to the local emergency management director and insurance company.

Many documents may have been destroyed by the tornadoes. Property owners will eventually need to provide proof of ownership. Those who have lost documents should visit their tax office Property Valuation Administrator to obtain documentation of ownership. This may eliminate long delays in receiving eligible FEMA funds.

Individual assistance helps eligible applicants with temporary housing assistance, uninsured personal property losses and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, along with other disaster-related expenses and serious needs. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not covered by insurance.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all of Kentucky.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.