Disaster Recovery Center closes here, but assistance still available
The Disaster Recovery Center in Grady County closed permanently on Tuesday this week however, survivors of Hurricane Michael can still get the help they need with just a phone call.
Many of the services available at a DRC are also available by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency Helpline. It’s a good option for residents affected by Hurricane Michael, especially since the deadline to register for FEMA assistance is Thursday, Dec. 13, in Georgia.
Survivors who call the Helpline can:
• Register with FEMA
• Provide a change of address, telephone and/or bank account numbers
• Update their claim with additional insurance information to avoid processing delays
• Receive information about FEMA home inspections
• Ask questions about FEMA correspondence, as well as their claim
• Get answers to other questions about federal disaster assistance
• Learn how to appeal a FEMA decision (All applicants can appeal a denial)
The FEMA Helpline number is: (800) 621-3362. FEMA also has dedicated phone lines to assist disaster survivors who are deaf, speech impaired or hard of hearing. The TTY number is (800) 462-7585. The Helpline offers personal assistance seven days a week, from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Callers who want to discuss their application, should have their nine-digit FEMA registration number and zip code available to reference. Survivors can also register for FEMA assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
FEMA Housing Assistance grants may cover rental assistance, home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance. Other Needs Assistance grants may be available to replace personal property and help meet disaster-related medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable-aid programs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and certain private nonprofit organizations for losses not covered by insurance.
The SBA may lend up to $200,000 to repair or replace a primary residence and up to $40,000 to renters and homeowners to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Up to $2 million may be available for businesses for uncompensated disaster losses.
In addition, residents can visit any DRC to meet face-to-face with representatives from the State of Georgia, FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and other federal partners. The DRC does not have to be in the county in which the survivor lives; it can be located anywhere, even in another state. Use the FEMA DRC Locator for more information.