Help for Victims of Oso Disaster
FEMA has declared a Major Disaster, clearing the way for direct federal assistance available to affected families and individuals.FEMA Application Deadline is June 2, 2014. Many resources, including legal assistance, are available to help families:
How to Apply for FEMA Assistance:
Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA will work closely with residents, tribal members and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one-on-one basis.
Affected individuals and business owners in designated areas can begin the disaster application process by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time seven days a week until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.
How to Apply for Legal Assistance:
Starting April 9, 2014, low income disaster survivors seeking legal advice can call the toll-free helpline at 844-435-7676 (844-HELP-OSO) 24 hours a day and provide contact information and the issues for which legal help is being sought. Applications of survivors seeking help will be reviewed and paired with a volunteer attorney who has experience in those areas of the law. Participating programs are also working with collaborating volunteer attorneys to hold onsite clinics later in the month of April.
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- Crisis care hotline: A crisis counseling hotline is available for those in the community affected by the landslide. Call 1-800-584-3578 anytime for counseling and crisis intervention.
- Emergency housing assistance: If you lost your home because of the landslide, the state Department of Commerce through the Red Cross is coordinating emergency housing assistance. Call 425-388-5088 for more info.
- Food and/or cash assistance: the Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) is offering food and cash assistance applications on-site from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. through April 4.
- Unemployment benefits: If you lost your job because of the landslide, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. The toll-free number is 855-636-5610, option 1. See also: http://www.esd.wa.gov/newsandinformation/breakingnews/landslide-unemployment-help.php.
- Health insurance: You may be able to receive immediate health insurance through Apple Health (Medicaid) and receive enhanced access to existing health care plans.
- Veteran Counseling: The Everett Vet Center is available for counseling for active duty personnel, vets, and families of active duty and vets who have lost people in the tragedy. They can also help connect you to possible resources. Their services are free of charge. Contact them at 425 252-9701.
- Driver’s license: If you lost your driver’s or other license because of the landslide, the Department of Licensing is offering special services to help you get a replacement card quickly. Read more here: http://www.dol.wa.gov/dol-services.html.
- Property insurance: Call the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s consumer hotline, 800-562-6900 if you have questions about your insurance policy.
- Roads: The Washington State Department of Transportation is working on transportation and highway problems resulting from the landslide.
Check the governor’s website for updates about what services are available for landslide victims: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/landslide/default.aspx.
Individuals can also help:
The Washington State Combined Fund Drive has set up a special, voluntary Mudslide Relief Campaign for state employees who would like to help.
Red Cross: You can donate to the Red Cross or ask about volunteer opportunities. Any amount is helpful. Call 1-800-RedCross or donate online. You can also text the words RedCross to 90999 and $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill.
The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is accepting donations for Oso Mudslide Relief. All donations are tax deductible. One hundred percent of donations will go to the Oso fund. You can give to the Foundation online; take a donation to any Union Bank; or take or send your donation to Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation (330 S. Stillaguamish Ave, Arlington, WA 98223. Make checks payable to CVH Foundation).