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Disaster aid applications are due Monday

December 03, 2003|by TAMELA BAKER

Monday is the deadline to apply for federal disaster aid related to Hurricane Isabel, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced.

So far, 17,007 applications for assistance have been filed by Maryland residents since Sept. 19, when the state was declared a federal disaster area.

Of those, 44 came from Washington County, FEMA Public Affairs Officer Joe Klocek said. FEMA officials found 26 of those applicants eligible for assistance, he said.

Klocek said FEMA provided nearly $40,000 in assistance in Washington County, most of which was for housing assistance.

FEMA assistance is earmarked for primary residences, Klocek said.

"Our primary mission is to make sure families have a safe, secure, functional living environment," he said.

FEMA is encouraging people who think they may have damages to apply before the deadline so inspectors can visit the property to see whether it qualifies, Klocek said. Damage may not be immediately apparent, but could surface later. If an application has not been made for assistance, FEMA can't help in that circumstance, he said.

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Statewide, about 67 percent of applicants have received assistance, he said.

The Small Business Administration also offers disaster assistance. But the Baltimore area office will close at 6 p.m. Friday. SBA offers disaster loans for residences and businesses damaged by the storm.

For information about FEMA disaster aid, call 1-800-621-3362, or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairments, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For information about SBA assistance, call 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for those with speech or hearing impairments.

The SBA's Web site is www.sba.gov.

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