West Virginians affected by derecho urged to apply for FEMA aid - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

West Virginians affected by derecho urged to apply for FEMA aid

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, today reminded West Virginians that the deadline for applying for Individual Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) related to this summer's "derecho" is fast approaching.

Following a letter Rockefeller, Manchin and Rahall wrote to President Obama in September asking for reconsideration of an earlier denial of Individual Assistance to Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh counties, FEMA reversed course. West Virginians are currently eligible for housing assistance from FEMA to repair heavily damaged or destroyed homes, as well as other expenses related to cleaning and the loss and replacement of personal property from the June "derecho."

The deadline for applying for assistance is this Monday, November 19. Those wishing to apply should visit the website www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers are staffed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Those registering for assistance will be asked basic questions, along with information about their insurance coverage.

"It's important that West Virginians who need help recovering from the derecho don't let this deadline pass them by," Rockefeller said. "West Virginians have a great opportunity to put this difficult time behind them and move forward with their lives. I'm urging everyone who had storm damage to contact FEMA without delay."

"It is hard to believe that West Virginia has suffered from several devastating natural disasters within the span of a few short months," Senator Manchin said. "Even though it seems daunting to try to pick up the pieces, clean up our homes, rebuild our businesses, and restore our lost inventory and possessions, I know that West Virginians are resilient. We will overcome these challenges together, as we always do by neighbors helping neighbors. It is also encouraging that FEMA is offering individual assistance to help make the recovery process a little easier. I urge all West Virginians who believe they are eligible to apply as soon as possible before the deadline."

"The clock is ticking for families and businesses to apply for recovery assistance. Time and family budgets are tight, but investing some time upfront can bring families and businesses significant savings as they recover.  I have seen first-hand the extreme difficulties endured by our citizens and the losses they have suffered.  I urge eligible West Virginians to apply for the full range of FEMA assistance," said Rahall, who serves as the Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with jurisdiction over FEMA.

Rockefeller, Manchin and Rahall are also asking West Virginians who have property damage from Hurricane Sandy to register with their local emergency management office because it will help strengthen the state's case for a Major Disaster Declaration.

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