INTERVIEW: FEMA offers relief to Louisa County

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – In Louisa County the clean-up continues after the August earthquake. FEMA is in town to help. But not everyone is jumping at the opportunity to apply for assistance. Joining us now to talk about how you can get access to that federal help is Art Alejandre. He is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

RYAN: First off, are you concerned that you aren't seeing as many people as you expected to apply for this assistance?

ART: We're actually working through the process. And we are seeing a good number. To date we have had 1900 registrations, we have had 4.3 million dollars that have been approved so far. Of that we have had a little bit over 4 million dollars that, that is in the hands of the people. We are seeing a good progress. But we continue to emphasize that they need to register sooner rather than later.

RYAN: That was one of my questions for you. So this money is turned around quickly. If you apply for assistance you can expect it in pretty short order.

ART: Absolutely. We want them to have a sense of urgency simply because the cold weather is getting here. And we need to take care of business before it really gets you know where it may become impossible. And also have a second set of eyes, a FEMA inspector to take a look at their damages, some that they may not even know they have.

RYAN: And who is the type of person that should seek out FEMA assistance?

ART: Anybody who suffered any damage or suspects they have damage from the August 23rd earthquake or subsequent tremors.

RYAN: So even if they think that maybe damage isn't that big, is it worth to reach out to a FEMA representative so you can make that determination as to whether there's assistance available.

ART: We believe it's critically important that you get a second set of eyes, a trained set of eyes, to evaluate the damage that may be in your home. Some of the folks may not know that they have damages, you know, that won't be able to take care of them unless they have someone trained to do that.

RYAN: Especially that once in a generation earthquake that we are not necessarily familiar with.

ART: Absolutely.

RYAN: How do people get in touch with you if they are interested in finding out more about this?

ART: We want them to register 1-800-621-3362. If they are computer savvy or can get someone to help them get on the computer you can go on disaster If for some reason that doesn't work, we invite them to  come to the Disaster Recovery Center at the Triangle Plaza and meet face to face and ask for assistance there were they may be able to start to walk them through the process. We have a phone bank there.

RYAN: This is the information there. Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and you are closed on Sunday. Thanks for all your help the folks out here in Louisa County.

ART: Thank you for having us.

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