MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – On Friday, two more disaster recovery centers opened in our area, a Miami County location that’s only open for four days, and one in Mercer County.
Tornado survivors who are registering for FEMA can apply online, but Erin Gaddis said there are some resources that are only available in person.
Gaddis said on Friday, there was a slow trickle of tornado survivors who came to the FEMA disaster recovery center located at the Mercer County Central Services Building.
“This is just opening day and we’re going to be here as long as the community is coming and using us,” said Gaddis.
The location is a one-stop shop where people can find information on local, state and federal help, and clear up some common misconceptions.
Gaddis said at other recovery centers, they kept hearing from renters who thought they do not qualify for assistance, which is not the case.
“We have grant and loan programs, housing assistance programs for homeowners and renters, and then if for any reason FEMA is unable to approve you, we work with SBA, so it really just depends on your specific situation,” said Gaddis.
FEMA representatives recommend residents register online first, but they do encourage you to come talk to a representative in person as there are some invaluable resources you can only get right at the centers.
Before visiting the Recovery Center, you need to register for federal assistance in one of the following ways:
- Online at this website
- Using the FEMA app
- Call 800-621-3362 (including 711 or Video Relay). TTY users can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 am until 9 pm, seven days a week.
“If you don’t speak English or are deaf, we have resources to get your application filled out,” said Gaddis. “We have interpreters and that sort of thing, but also if you want to just come in and have a face to face conversation about your situation.”
Right now, Gaddis said there are no plans to add any more recovery centers but that those plans could always change.