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FEMA offers help to residents
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has added Snohomish County to its recent Individual Assistance disaster declaration for the December 2007 storm and floods, providing funding and support for residents suffering personal property damages.
FEMA and state representatives recently toured Snohomish County with the Department of Emergency Management and Emergency Services Coordinating Agency staff, assessing damage totals. As a result, county residents with damages will now be able to apply for assistance. Typically, FEMA provides a variety of supplemental assistance programs.
We are very pleased the federal government has stepped up to the plate to assist the residents of Snohomish County, and appreciate the effort and support of our Congressional delegation to obtain much needed assistance, said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. This is welcome news for people who suffered tremendous losses from flooding. This is the best gift many will receive this holiday season.
John Pennington, Director of DEM said, This disaster assistance is welcome news and a direct result of hard work and partnership with our emergency management partners throughout the County.
FEMA has set up a toll-free number (1-800-621-FEMA) so that individuals and households may begin to apply for assistance immediately. Residents also may register online at www.fema.gov.
When registering, callers will be asked if they have insurance to cover their losses and if they need temporary housing. Individuals with insurance coverage will be referred to their insurance agent for further assistance. Those without may be eligible for one or all of the benefit programs.
If you do not register, you will not receive any federal help.
Whether applying online or by telephone, individuals should have a pen and paper and the following information ready:
Social Security number;
Current and pre-disaster address;
Telephone number for future contact;
Total household annual income;
Routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if direct transfer of funds is requested);
Description of losses caused by the disaster.
Upon completion of the process, residents will be given a FEMA application number. Please make a copy of this number for future reference.
Many residents experiencing damage already may have made reports to either Snohomish Countys Department of Emergency Management or within the city where they live. The FEMA process is in addition to this reporting.
More than 150 Snohomish County households have reported damages due to the severe storm. The total damages exceed $6.5 million, according to the county DEM. Snohomish County estimates initial damages to county property totaling more than $4 million.
The highest concentration of damages appears to have occurred within city limits in the southern part of Snohomish County, along the King County border.
Portions of 32 roads were closed as a result of flooding, slides or washouts. Five county roads were closed for at least one week and Seattle Hill Road will require extensive repair.
Railroad infrastructure in the Mukilteo area was impacted by soil erosion, two apartment complexes in Lynnwood suffered from major flooding and the American Red Cross was needed to provide shelter to about 20 people during the storm.
Once filing a FEMA application for assistance, DEM strongly suggests that individuals personally visit FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers for a face-to-face interview. The current proposed location of Snohomish Countys DRC is the Lynnwood Convention Center, located near the Alderwood Mall. More information on this site will is expected to be announced by FEMA later today.
For more information on the FEMA process, call DEM at 425-388-5060.