President Bush as declared Lehigh County as part of the disaster area which gives eligibility for federal disaster relief for Ivan-related damages.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers the following advise on applying for relief:

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Call your insurance company or agent before calling FEMA to find out if you may have any coverage.

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Call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.  If busy, keep trying to call.  For hearing impaired, call 1-800-462-7585.

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Be prepared to give your social security number, insurance information, description of the losses, property address and phone number.

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When a FEMA inspector comes to visit, have proof of ownership and residency.

 

According to FEMA, the following assistance is available:

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Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are uninhabitable.  Homeowners can get assistance for three months and renters for one month.  Those periods may be extended.

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Grants for some home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings "safe, sanitary and functional".

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Unemployment payments for up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits - for example: self-employed workers.

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Low interest loans to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

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Loans for small businesses that have disaster-related cash flow problems and need working capital to recover.

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Loans for farmers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses.