FEMA’s original deadline was today, but Harris and Galveston County property owners with damages and losses from Hurricane Ike now have until February 6th to register and apply for assistance from FEMA. Spokesman Brad Craine says it’s only been four months since the hurricane hit this area and people are still signing up for assistance at a steady clip.
“For instance just in Harris County alone on January 11th, we had 61 new applications taken, whether they applied online or by calling our 800 toll free number.”
That steady rate of registration prompted the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management to ask FEMA to extend today’s deadline another three weeks. Craine says they’ll keep this up until they’re convinced there are not enough unregistered people to justify keeping the registration open.
“We’ll take a very close look at it in February and that would determine whether we would extend it again, or call it quits at that time.”
FEMA’s disaster assistance to individuals could include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster related expenses not covered by insurance. The Small Business Administration has low interest loans available for homeowners,, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations. People can register online at FEMA- dot-gov, and by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA between 6 AM and 12 midnight.
Jim Bell, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.