Linda Martinez is one of two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials you might see walking around Stratford over the next few days.
"Today we're knocking on doors in Stratford, providing 1-800 numbers and flyers," Martinez said at the Stratford Starbucks Monday afternoon.
Martinez said today she and her colleague will hit Ocean Avenue and Watson Boulevard. The flyers outline several ways a homeowner can apply for disaster assistance funds through FEMA (The flyer has been reproduced with bullet points at the end of this article).
To date, 7,271 people in Connecticut have applied for federal assistance, including 4,667 in Fairfield County, according to Rita Egan, public information officer for FEMA's operation in Connecticut.
Egan said $3.97 million has been approved so far, $3.71 million of which is for housing assistance and $203,000 for other needs like personal property.
"[The] recovery process is in your hands," Egan said.
Where Martinez and her colleague goes depends on the list of streets provided by Stratford's emergency managers, Egan said. (Stratford Patch is working on getting that list and will update this article when we do.) If a homeowner is not home at the time of the visit, the flyer is left at the doorstep, she said.
Within three to five days of registering for the federal aid, a contractor from FEMA comes by to survey the damage, Egan said. This "verifier," she said, has been trained in structual and water damage and oftentimes identifies eligible damage the homeowner did not. Be vigilant, though, and check that the contractor has a FEMA ID, as there are frauds, Egan added.
Martinez said FEMA visited Stratford businesses over the weekend.
The following information comes from the flyer provided by FEMA.
If you sustained losses or damage from Hurricane Sandy, you may be eligible for disaster aid.
- You can call to apply: 1.800.621.FEMA (3362).
- The TTY number is 1.800.462.7585.
- For 711 or Video Relay Service, call 1.800.621.FEMA (3362).
- For more information or to apply: www.DisasterAssistance.gov
- Or apply on your smartphone at: m.fema.gov
When you apply for disaster assistance please have the following available:
- Social Security Number (including your spouse's)
- Private insurance information, if available
- Address and zip code of the damaged property
- Directions to the damaged home or property
- Daytime telephone number
- A telephone number where we can reach you or leave a message
- An address where you can get mail
- If you want your disaster assistance funds sent directly to your bank, provide the FEMA agent with your bank account type (savings/checking), account number and routing number
Disaster recovery assistance for eligible recipients is available without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.