RIEMA Announces FEMA Assistance for Washington and Newport Counties

Nov 15, 2012

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) announced that Rhode Islanders who live in Newport or Washington Counties and sustained damages or losses from Hurricane Sandy can now register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine eligibility for assistance.

There are three ways to register with FEMA:

Anyone who is registering should have the following information ready and available:

  • Current and pre-disaster address
  • Current phone number
  • Social Security number (FEMA does verify name and Social Security number.)
  • Insurance information (agency name, policy number, actual policy if possible)
  • Total household annual income
  • Description of losses caused by Hurricane Sandy
  • Bank account and routing number (for direct deposit of assistance funds)

Individual assistance (IA) generally is used to assist homeowners with serious unmet needs. Registering with FEMA does not guarantee assistance; however any questions can be directed to FEMA. FEMA can also inform applicants of resources that other federal programs can offer. Each claim is evaluated separately and FEMA makes the final determination whether an applicant is eligible for federal assistance.

Beginning on Friday, November 16, FEMA will open Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). The DRCs listed below will be open on Friday, 11/16 and Saturday, 11/17 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., and on Sunday, 11/18 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. FEMA staff will be available to provide technical assistance or to answer claim-specific questions at:

  • Middletown: Middletown Police Department, 123 Valley Road
  • South Kingstown: Union Fire Station, 131 Asa Pond Road
  • Westerly: St. Clair’s Church, 62 Crandall Avenue

Applicants are not required to go to a DRC to register.

The Disaster Recovery Centers will be staffed by FEMA and other agencies to assist individual and explain FEMA and Small Business Administration (SBA) programs that are available to individuals and businesses that have suffered a loss as a result of the super storm. Registering with FEMA initiates the process by which individuals and businesses can access assistance.

There are several categories of assistance available from FEMA, such as:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing can be made to families whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners, and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items that are not covered by insurance. These grants to replace personal property cover improvements that make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary, and functional. They also can be applied to help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other federal, state, and charitable aid programs.