How To Access Hurricane Relief from FEMA

A guide on how to access the Federal Emergency Management Administration's system for disaster relief aid.


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is encouraging Connecticut residents recovering
from the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the four eligible counties to register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

And on Saturday, Nov. 10, to help Greenwich residents, Red Cross volunteers will be at the 207 Sound Beach Ave. in Old Greenwich and the Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Department, 200 E. Putnam Ave., Cos Cob, distributing cleanup kits, information on how to access FEMA help and other critical information, from noon to 2 p.m.

The major federal disaster declaration, signed by President Obama on Oct. 30, offers federal assistance available to residents, businesses, non-profits, and municipalities in Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties.

Assistance for losses sustained anytime after the storm, which began on Oct. 27 and ended Oct. 31, 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.

This is how the process works:

STEP 1: Register with FEMA
There are several ways to register:

  • Apply online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. This is the preferred and most efficient method.
  • Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free number is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days per week.
  • By smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov.

When applying for aid, you will receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA.

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.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers:
Those with additional questions or who want to speak to someone in person have the option of visiting one of several FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) that have been set up around the state. Locally, the DRC is located at:

Western Greenwich Civic Center, Room 203
449 Pemberwick Rd.
Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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. The inspection is free.

STEP 3: All Applicants Will Receive a Letter from FEMA Regarding the Status of Their Requests for Federal Assistance. Some will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster recovery loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Anyone who has questions about the letter from FEMA should call the helpline (1-800-621-3362 or TTY, 1-800-462-7585).

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.


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