FEMA deadline approaches for tornado victims

RALEIGH Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say Monday June 20th is the last day homeowners, renters, and businesses – in the 19 disasters-declared counties - can register with FEMA.

FEMA has given out 15 million dollars to more than nine thousand people since the tornadoes swept through parts of North Carolina in April.

"It ranges from they've lost their entire dwelling to just they've lost some personal possessions, "FEMA Spokesperson Gene Kauffman said. " So it just depends. But we cover homeowners, and we cover renters."

As the deadline looms closer, she says the number of people receiving assistance continues to grow. But, despite all the people who have already been helped, Kauffman says there are still many people who have not come forward and registered for help.

"A number of people think because they have insurance they're covered, but they might find after they get their insurance settlements that it doesn't cover all the damages," Kauffman said.

Other people she says are reluctant to apply for aid because they think their situations aren't nearly as bad as in some of the hardest hit areas in the state.

"They say, well, the damage wasn't that great and the money is needed elsewhere, but that's not the case, if you had any damage at all you should call the number and see if you qualify, "Kauffman also said.

To register or see if you qualify for disaster assistance, call the FEMA Hotline at 1-800-621-FEMA, or 1 800-462-7585 for the hearing impaired. You can also visit their website at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

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