FEMA Help for Irene

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will make federal disaster assistance available to residents and small businesses in Suffolk County following Tropical Storm Irene, County Executive Steve Levy announced on Friday.
    The declaration will give homeowners and businesses access to individual assistance for documented non-insured losses up to $30,200. According to Representative Tim Bishop’s office, grants are available for home repairs and replacement of essential household items necessary to make a house safe, sanitary, and functional.
    Grant assistance is also provided to replace personal property and meet medical, dental, transportation, or other “serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state, and charitable aid programs.” The declaration also allows businesses access to low-interest Small Business Administration loans of up to $2 million and gives residents access to low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.
    Suffolk residents and business owners who believe they may be eligible for FEMA assistance have been asked to call the agency’s toll-free number, 800-621-3362, to register. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss can call 800-462-7585, and those who use Video Relay Service have been directed to call 800-621-3362. The numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
    The county executive’s office plans to open disaster recovery centers to help expedite the FEMA individual assistance process. Additional information can be found at disasterassistance.gov,  or by calling 800-621-FEMA.