FEMA Deadlines

A couple of mileposts as the Federal Emergency Management Agency winds down its hurricane recovery effort. Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports.

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FEMA's Hannah Vick says April 10th is the deadline for hurricane victims to make their initial request for assistance by calling FEMA.

"One of the most important things right now is for people to call our 1-800-number, which is 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-621-3362 and register with FEMA That's really a starting point in which an individual affected by a disaster can start applying for disaster assistance."

After April 10th no new claims will be taken. Vick says long past the deadline the 800 number will still be an important link to FEMA.

"What we really need now is for individuals to continue to call us, let us know if they moved from one area to another, or if their situation's changed, or if they're having problems receiving assistance they think that they should be receiving, or if they get denied and they what to appeal we can walk them through that process and we encourage them to do that."

Also, Vick says the number of first time visitors to the DRC's or Disaster Recovery Centers has been steadily declining.

"To continue the recovery process we're going to be shutting down the Disaster Recovery Centers here in Texas on April 15th. After that individuals who are still concerned or need assistance are encouraged to call the 1-800-621-FEMA number as well as visit the www.fema.gov web site."

There are only five DRC's still in operation, one in Houston on the South Loop East. In the days and weeks right after the storms there were 27 fixed DRC's and 22 mobile units that traveled throughout the hurricane ravaged area. Again the phone number that remains the main link to FEMA is 800-621-FEMA.

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