Keeping in touch with FEMA is essential after registering

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Immediately after a disaster, keeping in touch with family is most important. But during the Hurricane Isaac recovery process, survivors who have registered for disaster assistance also need to keep in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"We understand survivors are going from damaged homes to shelters to hotels and rentals," said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall of FEMA. "But our help can reach them only if we know how to contact them."

That means if survivors change their addresses, telephone numbers, bank accounts or insurance information, they should update that information with FEMA.

Without accurate contact information on file with FEMA, applicants could miss important correspondence or telephone calls. Without accurate banking, eligible survivors could miss disaster assistance grants that are sent via direct deposit to accounts.

"If survivors keep us informed, we can provide assistance more quickly for those who are eligible," Hall said.

Survivors can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. They may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit our blog at www.fema.gov/blog.