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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Disaster information will be kept confidential, FEMA says

Monday, August 11, 2003

KOKOMO, Ind. -- People who call the FEMA toll-free application line at 1-800-621-FEMA (TTY 1-800-462-7585) to apply for disaster assistance can feel confident that the information they provide is used only to provide disaster recovery assistance, according to the head of disaster recovery operations in Indiana for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Information gathered in the telephone interview when the applicant calls the FEMA toll-free number is used only to determine what type of assistance is most appropriate and is kept confidential. This is a requirement of the Privacy Act of 1974. An application may sign a release form to permit FEMA to disclose his or her application information to other agencies that may provide assistance.

Patrick R. Ralston, state coordinating officer, Indiana State Emergency Management, urged Hoosiers who suffered damages from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding to call and apply. "That one phone call is your application for a number of disaster programs that are in place to help the people of Indiana recover from this terrible disaster."

Clay County is a disaster-declared county for individual assistance. Individuals, families, and business owners who suffered losses should apply for disaster assistance such as grants for temporary housing and essential repairs to make the home safe and secure, or low-interest disaster loans by calling FEMA's toll-free number. The TTY number for those with speech or hearing impairment. These numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. The deadline to apply for disaster assistance Sept. 9.

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