FEMA urges residents to register

September 28, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

TRI-STATE - The remnants of Hurricane Ivan quickly tore through the Tri-State area more than a week ago, but for some residents, anguish and problems associated with the storm will last much longer.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman said Monday the agency wants to help.

Residents of Berkeley and Morgan counties in West Virginia and Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania who had property damaged in the storm may call and register with FEMA at 800-621-3362.

Callers should have their insurance information, address and an active phone number at hand. An inspector will look at the damaged property and determine what assistance is available, said FEMA public information officer Rosemarie Hunter.


Low-interest loans and housing assistance might be offered, Hunter said.

"Every case is different and it's really based on your particulars," Hunter said.

Even those with insurance are asked to register with FEMA, Hunter said.

A FEMA representative will never ask for a credit card number. Hunter said she has heard of scams in which a person claiming to be from FEMA calls and demands a credit card number before processing any information.

"Don't give out your credit card number," she said.

West Virginia has a program in place under which some people may qualify for unemployment assistance. Those who have been unemployed because of a disaster-related problem should contact their local unemployment office between now and Oct. 22, Hunter said.

A deadline has not been set to register with FEMA and Hunter said she does not have an estimate of the amount of damage caused by tornadoes that touched down in the area on Friday, Sept. 17.

"When people call in to register that gives us an idea" of the damage, she said.

The National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., confirmed that several tornadoes touched down in the Tri-State area.

Tornadoes tore roofs off of buildings, caused creeks and rivers to flood and led to trees toppling, sometimes onto homes. Thousand of customers were without power.

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