Kilmer Encourages Washington Disaster Survivors to Apply for FEMA Assistance
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) urged residents of Clallam County and members of the Quileute Tribe who were affected by the Nov. 13-15, 2021 floods and mudslides to apply to FEMA for help with temporary housing expenses, basic home repairs or other essential disaster-related needs that are not covered by insurance. In December Rep. Kilmer, along U.S. Senators Murray and Cantwell, led the full Washington state congressional delegation in a letter to President Biden in support of Governor Jay Inslee’s request for a federal emergency disaster declaration as a result of the damages incurred by the severe winter storms. The Biden Administration approved the declaration in early January.
“The severe storms in November caused power outages and road washouts that have disrupted local economies and the lives of countless families,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I’m grateful that the Biden Administration heeded the call of the Washington congressional delegation for federal disaster assistance – which will help our region repair and rebuild essential roadways, and help our communities get back on their feet. I encourage anyone who may need a hand to apply for federal assistance as soon as possible.”
Residents in the designated counties and tribes can apply online at disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362, or by using the FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.
What FEMA will need from applicants
During the application process, FEMA personnel will ask for:
- A current phone number where you can be contacted.
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying.
- Your Social Security Number.
- A general list of damage and losses.
- Banking information if you choose direct deposit.
- If insured, your policy number or the agent and/or the company name.
FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits. Applicants are required to provide FEMA with information about insurance coverage and settlements before FEMA can consider eligibility for assistance.
Disability or accessibility needs
In the application process, FEMA encourages applicants pay special attention to question number 24 about people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Answer "yes" to this question if you have a disability, accessibility need or another health or medical condition. According to FEMA, this is the best way to note any additional disability-related losses and/or needs such as medical support assistance, durable medical equipment repairs, or replacement of assistive technology that was lost or damaged as a result of the disaster. Examples include wheelchair, scooter, walker, CPAP machine, hearing aids, eyeglasses, screen reader. This question will also help applicants identify other services for which they may be eligible to receive reimbursement.
FEMA teams will assist survivors
FEMA will have Disaster Survivor Assistance teams (DSA) in affected areas helping with applications for FEMA assistance and providing information about other resources. DSA team members carry photo identification and never charge for assistance. These teams can help survivors apply for federal assistance, check the status of applications and provide information about resources.
The teams will operate at fixed locations such as community centers, libraries, covered parking lots, etc. The teams will follow CDC safety guidelines for COVID-19 including social distancing and use of protective equipment. Locations will be determined by local officials and will be in the most heavily impacted areas.
DSA teams will also work virtually with organizations that have the capability to electronically distribute disaster-related information to survivors, through faith-based and community organizations, private sector and public libraries.
According to FEMA, if you report that you cannot, or may not be able to, safely live in your home, FEMA may need to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA will conduct exterior inspections. An interior inspection is not mandatory but if the owner and the inspector agree, an interior inspection may be conducted. If the applicant has technology that can assist in the viewing of damage inside the home, such as FaceTime or Zoom, the applicant may walk through the dwelling and demonstrate the damage without the inspector entering the dwelling.
The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is March 7, 2022.
For an accessible video on how to apply for FEMA assistance, go to youtube.com/watch?v=WZGpWI2RCNw.
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