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Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams Are Helping West Virginia Residents

August 25, 2017
Wetzel Chronicle

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Four teams of disaster survivor assistance specialists are working in affected areas across West Virginia, helping survivors of the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides of July 28-29, 2017.

The teams are made up of disaster specialists from FEMA. Using the latest mobile technology, Disaster Survivor Assistance teams can register survivors for disaster assistance, update their records and make referrals to community partners. Team members tailor the information and services they provide to the individual survivor's needs.

Like all FEMA field personnel, team members carry official identification. Residents are encouraged to ask for official identification before providing personal information.

In addition to the registration opportunity offered by recovery teams, survivors can register for assistance by the following methods:

* Visit

* Call 800-621-3362. TTY users can call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362 to register.

Fact Box


-On Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hundred High School Auditorium, there will be long term recovery group training and a representative from Federal Emergency Management Management Agency (FEMA) will be in attendance to answer questions.

-On Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. at the Hundred High School Auditorium, there will be a long term recovery group meeting with the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

For more information call Eric Yost at 304-775-7000.


Per Wetzel County Commission: Any Wetzel County resident that had flood damage during the recent flooding event needs to call 1-800-621-3362 and register with FEMA.


NOTICE: The FEMA Disaster Center at Hundred High School, for flood victims, will be open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 1-5 p.m.

By registering with FEMA, survivors may qualify for federal disaster assistance such as:

* Grants to rent a temporary place to live.

* Grants for essential home repairs not covered by insurance.

* Grants for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance - such as medical, dental, transportation, funeral expenses, moving and storage fees, personal property loss and child care.

Registering with FEMA is also the first step in qualifying for help from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Low-interest disaster loans from SBA are available to businesses of all sizes (including landlords), homeowners, renters, and private non-profit organizations to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance. Low-interest disaster loans help fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. Economic injury disaster loans are available to businesses and private non-profits to assist with working capital.

Applicants can find an electronic loan application on the U.S. Small Business Administration's secure website at Questions can be directed to the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955/ (TTY) 800-877-8339 or by visiting

West Virginians seeking information about disaster-related services and unmet needs should call West Virginia 211, a statewide information and referral service. Contact 211 for help finding food, childcare, crisis counseling, and many other resources in your local community.

To find current shelter locations for displaced survivors who need a place to stay overnight, please call the American Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS or download the FEMA App on a mobile device.

Visiting a Disaster Recovery Center is not required to register with FEMA. To register:

Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS (Video Relay Service) or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available in ASL at

Go online to (also in Spanish);

Disaster survivors can locate open disaster recovery centers (DRCs) in their area by downloading the FEMA App (available on the App Store and on Google Play) or by texting DRC and their zip code to 4FEMA (43362). For text messages, standard message and data rates apply.

Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible to people with disabilities. They have assistive technology equipment that allows disaster survivors to use amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss, and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available and in-person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.

FEMA's Individual Assistance program is designed to help survivors with immediate essential needs and to help displaced survivors find a safe, functional place to live temporarily until they can return home. Many survivors may have additional needs beyond what can be provided by FEMA. The agency works closely with state, federal, faith-based and voluntary agencies to help match survivors who have remaining needs with other sources of assistance.

For information about SBA's disaster assistance, call 800-659-2955, email, or visit SBA's website at Deaf and hard of hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

For updates on the West Virginia response and recovery, follow the West Virginia Department of Emergency Management at on Twitter at, and Facebook at Also see and West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters at FEMA updates on the West Virginia disaster are available at



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