This page contains information about registering for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. Note that it is now too late to register for FEMA assistance for Irene – we are keeping this information available for the next time it might be needed.
During Irene, Vermont contracted with 2-1-1 to gather initial information so that the state could declare a disaster and get FEMA involved. That may or may not be the case in the future, but 1) calling 2-1-1 is always a good answer if you need help and 2) calling 2-1-1 does NOT register you with FEMA.
Assistance for losses sustained anytime after the storm may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster. Even those with insurance may be eligible for help from FEMA if their insurance policy does not cover all their needs. To apply:
Step 1: Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are several ways to register – you must do this within 60 days of the disaster to get assistance.
- Apply online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available to assist with the application process.
- By smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov, or for devices with the Android operating system, a FEMA App can be downloaded at market.android.com/details?id=gov.fema.mobile.android.
- Visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) where they will have you complete a phone or online application. (The state opens DRCs in coordination with FEMA 1-2 weeks after a disaster.)
When applying for aid you will receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA. If you did not get a nine-digit number, you did not complete registration.
It is helpful to have the following information handy:
- Current telephone number;
- Address at the time of the disaster and current address;
- Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses;
- If insured, the name of insurance company, agent and policy number; and
- Bank routing number for any direct deposit.
Step 2: Receive a property inspection.
Within a few days after registering, eligible applicants will be telephoned to make an appointment to have their damaged property inspected. The inspectors, who are FEMA contractors and carry identification badges, visit to make a record of damage. They do not make a determination regarding assistance. There is no cost for the inspection.
Step 3: All applicants will receive a letter from FEMA regarding the status of their requests for federal assistance. This should come within two weeks, either with a check or a notice that your expenses were not eligible (if you want to appeal, go to a DRC). Some will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster recovery loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Anyone who has questions about the letter from FEMA should call the helpline (800-621-3362 or TTY, 800-462-7585) or visit a DRC.
Those who receive an application packet from the SBA should complete and submit the forms. No one is required to accept a loan but submitting the application may open the door to additional FEMA grants.