2007-09-28 / Community

Damaged Renters Can File For FEMA Help

Renters in Queens and Brooklyn, who suffered losses during the August 8 storms that hit the area hard can register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance.

"Sometimes renters don't realize they may be eligible for assistance," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson, "but we can offer assistance to renters and we encourage renters to register right away."

Disaster aid may help renters displaced because of disaster damage. Other assistance to eligible renters may include personal property, such as furniture and appliances. A renter may qualify for a Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loan.

"The first step is to register," said John R. Gibb, Director of the New York State Emergency Management Office and state coordinating officer. Renters can register online at www.fema.gov or call the toll-free registration line at 1- 800-621-FEMA (3362). The speech or hearing impaired should call (TTY) 1- 800-462-7585. Telephone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, economic status or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or contact your State Office of Equal Rights. If suspicious of any abuse of FEMA programs, please contact the fraud hotline at 1-800-323- 8603.

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