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Less than one week left for tornado survivors to apply for FEMA aid

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 09, 2024

ELKHORN, Neb. (KMTV) — The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance is July 15. Ramblewood neighbors we talked with have applied, but others may not have. FEMA shares why they should now before it's too late.

  • Ramblewood neighbors, Harry Perkons and Heidi Bodady share the ongoing struggles more than ten weeks after the April 26 tornadoes.
  • FEMA is encouraging survivors to apply. It's a slow process but could be helpful if new issues are discovered.
  • If you still need to apply, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or download the FEMA app.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Tornado survivors, if you haven't applied for FEMA assistance - the time is now. In Ramblewood, 3 News Now reporter Jill Lamkins is talking to neighbors waiting to see what help they'll be able to get. They've applied, but others may not have and the deadline is July 15.

"The roof got torn off and it's like a blender went through the inside."

More than ten weeks after the tornadoes Harry Perkons still has a lot of work to do.

"The roof got torn off and it's like a blender went through the inside and we hauled a bunch of stuff off,” said Perkons.

He's made some repairs but has paid for them out of pocket.

"It's hitting our retirement account. So, I'm, I'm just taking out of that because we have to, you know, this has got to get fixed," said Perkons.

He's applied with FEMA but isn't confident in the process.

"I don't know what to expect," said Perkons.

So far, he's made phone calls, sent emails and documents. But while he hasn't heard anything from FEMA yet there could still be help on the way.

"Once you register with us, you can continue to get help long after the deadline. So, we are encouraging survivors even if you are waiting on your insurance claim, we want you to apply with us anyway," said Tiana Suber a FEMA Spokesperson.

It's a slow process which is why FEMA is asking survivors to be patient with them.

Heidi Bodady - another Ramblewood neighbor impacted by the storm - knows insurance and FEMA can only provide some relief but a little help is better than none.

"There's so many surprises, there's so many unknowns and they all keep popping up as we go," said Bodady.

Those unknowns - include damage caused by the tornadoes or newly found discovered issues - that survivors could get help with from FEMA if they apply now. And if you've been denied assistance after applying:

“Remember you have to be persistent and come back over and over again asking for that help because you can appeal it," said Bodady.

Suber also said that as long as you are registered in the FEMA system, survivors can send in documents later on.

 "Just sitting and waiting. I'm retired and just stay inside and watch the grass grow," said Perkons.

If you still need to apply, visit disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA or download the FEMA app.