Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria now have through January 8, 2018, to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).1 Registration is required if survivors intend to apply for federal disaster benefits, such as low-interest Small Business Administration disaster loans and/or FEMA grants for rental assistance, home repairs, personal property losses, and other disaster-related needs.
FEMA’s Individual Assistance program provides grants for temporary housing, emergency home repairs, replacement of damaged personal property, and other disaster-related needs, such as medical, dental or transportation costs, not otherwise covered by insurance or other grants. Eligibility for FEMA assistance is not dependent on income. So far, FEMA has approved 6,552 Individual Assistance Applications and $18,319,701.86 in Individual & Household Program dollars.
As the January 8 registration deadline approaches, survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria are also encouraged to check in to ensure the information they provided to FEMA is current. The storms caused widespread power, internet and cell service outages affecting the ability of residents to register for disaster assistance and get updates on their applications. As connectivity is returning, applicants should also call and make sure they are registered and update any changes to their mailing address, phone number, and insurance and banking information.
Registration and updates can be done online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 (between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time), or by visiting any of the local Disaster Recovery Centers.2
1 See https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/12/09/us-virgin-islanders-have-until-january-8-register-disaster-assistance.
2 For more information, visit https://www.fema.gov.