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FEMA office assists state flood victims

Reynolds Graves

As a result of the recent heavy rains that damaged the homes of thousands across the state, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up shop at their new Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), located within the Hyde Park Community Center at 1179 River Street.

 Here, residents can come and seek disaster relief services for any damage that occurred to their place of residence as a result of the flood.

Victor Inge is in charge of notifying the surrounding community of services offered at the new DRC in Hyde Park.

“There are no income requirements to receive FEMA’s assistance” said Inge. “We take renter’s as well as owners … the only requirement is that you live here [in Massachusetts] and that your place of dwelling was impacted by the storm.”

In addition to Inge, FEMA has organized 26 community specialists who are responsible for going door to door throughout the communities and facilitating the registration process for those who may not have the Internet or the means to visit the Hyde Park office.   

So far nearly 30,000 people have registered to receive assistance. FEMA has about $40 million in grants for housing assistance and $1.2 million in other assistance.

Those at the DRC in Hyde Park ask that people seeking assistance register over the phone or via the Internet before coming in.

When individuals call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) they are asked to briefly describe the damage to their place of residence and differentiate between structural damage — the building and its foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, windows and other fixtures permanently installed — and personal property damage: clothes, food freezers, original artwork or fur coats.

Individuals who do not apply for FEMA flood insurance coverage may also seek assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA), one of the many federal and state governmental agencies housed at the DRC in Hyde Park to aid those in need.  

The May 28 deadline for registration is fast approaching. Inge strongly encouraged all affected by the storm to register for disaster relief assistance.

“We will be present in the community long after the deadline … making sure that those in need are getting the proper assistance they need to get their place of residence back to normal,” said Inge.