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Official: FEMA to arrive soon, but don’t wait to register

Published: Thursday, June 20, 2019 @ 1:04 PM

A pickup truck is smashed between two homes on Neff Road in Harrison Twp. Two weeks have passed since a tornado ripped through the area causing catastrophic damage to homes and businesses in the area. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Ty Greenlees
A pickup truck is smashed between two homes on Neff Road in Harrison Twp. Two weeks have passed since a tornado ripped through the area causing catastrophic damage to homes and businesses in the area. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

Disaster assistance teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin canvasing tornado-damaged Ohio neighborhoods this weekend when federal recovery centers in Harrison Twp. and Trotwood are also expected to open.

But people impacted by Memorial Day tornadoes should not wait to register for assistance, said Leo Skinner, a FEMA spokesman.

“Start the process,” he said. “We really need to get you into the system to move ahead. It’s the process we go through and we want to make sure everyone who qualifies for assistance gets the assistance they need.”

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People with property, personal or business losses — particularly those short on insurance — should first register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call (800) 621-3362.

As of Wednesday, 1,000 people in the 10-county Ohio disaster area had registered online or over the phone with FEMA, Skinner said.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) opened two area business recovery centers on Thursday. One center opened at 5945 North Dixie Dr., in Harrison Twp. and another at 3210 Beaver-Vu Drive in Beavercreek. Both will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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FEMA has been working with local officials to find secure and accessible locations for the disaster recovery centers, which will also house SBA representatives, Skinner said.

“The centers are there for you to meet face to face with FEMA or the SBA if you have questions about your application,” Skinner said. “But we don’t want people to wait until the centers open to register.”

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The disaster assistance teams beginning work this weekend in affected areas will provide information as well as register people who otherwise might slip through the cracks, Skinner said.

“Everybody is not going to be contacted this weekend,” he said. “It will take time.”

Register with FEMA

Onlinewww.disasterassistance.gov

Phone: (800) 621-3362