PLATTSMOUTH – People who were impacted by the recent flood and who might seek federal disaster assistance can visit in person the Disaster Recovery Center now open at the Plattsmouth Community Center, 308 S. 18th St.

The State of Nebraska and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened that center on Monday, April 1, with service available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily in the center’s gymnasium.

Also, there are officials from the Small Business Administration where flood victims can seek low-interest loans to repair or replace property damage.

As of Tuesday, the number of people coming in was picking up from previous days, according to Charlie Griner, DRC manager.

“We’re here to give you a hand,” he said. “We have trained people.”

FEMA assistance applications, however, can be made online or over the phone.

By phone, call FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585; or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS).

Telephone registration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time seven days a week.

To apply online, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

On a smartphone, download the FEMA app and click on “disaster resources,” then “apply for assistance online.”

When applying for disaster assistance, people should have the following information on hand:

Social Security number

Address of the damaged primary residence

Description of the damage

Information about insurance coverage

A current contact telephone number

An address where they can receive mail

Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds

It’s possible mistakes can be made during online or phone applications, according to Renee Bafalis, FEMA spokeswoman.

If the applicant has concerns or questions from the FEMA application response letter, they should immediately take that to the recovery center and talk directly with personnel there, Bafalis said.

“There’s a lot of information at the center,” she said.

Griner agreed.

“If they have not had complete resolution of their home damage or business damage, they should come here,” he said.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are even going door-to-door to help victims register for assistance and to identify immediate and emerging needs. Teams are operating in Boone, Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties, and have already visited more than 7,048 homes as of Tuesday, according to Bafalis.

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