NEWPORT – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be partnering with local and state officials to open three Disaster Recovery Centers in southern Rhode Island this week to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The centers will open in South Kingstown, Westerly, and Middletown to help residents of Newport and Washington counties speak one-on-one with recovery representatives.
The centers are located at:
Washington County (opens today)
131 Asa Pond Road
Washington County (scheduled to open tomorrow)
62 Crandall Avenue
Newport County (scheduled to open tomorrow)
123 Valley Road
“I encourage all eligible Rhode Islanders who need help recovering from Hurricane Sandy to register with FEMA by going online to DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-FEMA. We want to ensure everyone who was impacted or displaced by Sandy gets the assistance they qualify for,” said Reed. “These Disaster Recovery Centers can be a real help in providing face-to-face assistance. But registering online with FEMA before you show up will help streamline the process.”
The Disaster Recovery Centers will be staffed by FEMA and other agencies to assist individual and explain FEMA and Small Business Administration (SBA) programs that are available to individuals and businesses that have suffered a loss as a result of the super storm. Registering with FEMA initiates the process by which individuals and businesses can access assistance.
There are several categories of assistance available from FEMA, such as:
• Rental payments for temporary housing can be made to families whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners, and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
• Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items that are not covered by insurance. These grants to replace personal property cover improvements that make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary, and functional. They also can be applied to help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other federal, state, and charitable aid programs.
To date, only Newport County and Washington County residents are eligible. Residents of these counties may apply for FEMA assistance in several ways:
• By phone: 1-800-621-3362 TTY: (800) 462-7585
• On the web: www.disasterassistance.gov
• By smartphone: m.fema.gov
After a resident applies for assistance, a FEMA inspector will be assigned to assess the damage and determine the level of assistance available. Then a check may be issued, or in the case of business owners, a referral made to the SBA for low-interest loan assistance.
Those wishing to meet with FEMA representatives in person are requested to bring their insurance policies, proof of ownership of residence, receipts and cost estimates.