Katrina Victims Urged Not To Delay Registering For Disaster Aid

Individuals, families and business owners affected by Hurricane Katrina should not hesitate to register for disaster aid if they have not already done so, advises the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Registering is the important first step to receiving assistance for losses resulting from Katrina.

Individuals and business owners can register by calling toll free: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech-impaired. Those with Internet access can register online at

Furthermore, registrations can be conducted in the registrant’s native language. In consultation with State Emergency Response Teams, FEMA assesses the cultural makeup of affected communities in advance to determine if there are special language needs and provides direct assistance to callers with limited English proficiency. Call Center staff will patch in the interpreter and conduct the interview in a 3-way conversation. The Call Center supports up to 173 languages. To date, translators have handled Hurricane Katrina-related calls in 11 languages ranging from Spanish, Haitian/Creole, French and Vietnamese, to Arabic, Mandarin, Somali and Hindi.

Due to the high volume of calls, FEMA suggests calling during off-peak hours—late night or early morning. The registration lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Have the following information ready when you call:


Current and pre-disaster address

Current Telephone numbers

Insurance coverage, policy number(s) and agent’s name.
(Applicants are urged to contact their insurance company and file necessary claims, as Government assistance does not cover damage or losses already covered by private insurance.)

Individuals or families with emergency needs should call the American Red Cross. Call 866-GET-INFO for the location of the nearest Red Cross office.

FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.