April 1, 2011  //  


Media Contacts:
FEMA – Josie Pritchard        (276) 973-0078
VDEM – Suzanne Simmons   (276) 973-0063

May 2, 2002


WISE, VA. – Although disaster recovery centers are now closed in the disaster declared area of Southwest Virginia, help is still available. The FEMA Helpline, 1-800-621-3362, operates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday for those who have been affected by the March floods and who have already registered for disaster assistance. People with hearing or speech impairments may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.

Recovery officials encourage applicants to call the Helpline to check the status of their applications, update their personal information, or get additional information.

“In addition to following up on their applications, disaster victims can learn more about housing programs and grants, as well as loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by calling the Helpline number, 1-800-621-3362,” said Louis Botta, FEMA federal coordinating officer.

State Coordinating Officer Michael M. Cline said, “The Helpline is an excellent way for disaster victims to track their application progress.”

Recovery officials reported that 954 residents of Southwest Virginia had called the Helpline as of May 1. The counties of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and the city of Norton are included in the disaster declaration. Wythe County was designated only for Public Assistance.

The deadline for registering for federal disaster assistance or low interest SBA loans is June 1. To date, more than 1,760 residents of the declared disaster area have registered, the first step in receiving help. Representatives from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and FEMA encourage homeowners, renters and business owners in the designated disaster area who have not yet done so, to call FEMA’s toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-3362. People with speech or hearing impairments can call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, until further notice.


NOTE TO EDITORS: Information on the Southwest Virginia disaster is also available on FEMA’s homepage on the Internet at www.fema.gov, or VDEM’s homepage at www.vaemergency.com. Information also is available through FEMA’s 24-fax-on-demand service by calling (202) 646-FEMA. RADIO NEWS DIRECTORS: For recorded actualities on response and recovery operations call the FEMA Radio Network at 1-800-323-5248.


Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund