Washington residents impacted by November and December flooding and subsequent environmental disasters can still apply for federal assistance through March 7.
Renters and homeowners across Whatcom and Skagit, as well as residents of the Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Indian Tribe, can apply for financial support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover uninsured losses following last year's extreme environmental issues. More than 950 people have applied for assistance following the floods, landslides, mudslides and wind storms that devastated the community.
Currently, Whatcom has four Disaster Recovery Centers, located in Sumas, Everson, Ferndale, and in the Lummi Nation. Ferndale's facility will close today, and the center in the Lummi Nation will remain open until March 3. The remaining facilities in Sumas and Everson will close Monday, March 7.
At each recovery center, specialists from FEMA, Hazard Mitigation, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Washington state agencies will be available to help locals apply for assistance. This could include financial support for temporary housing and hotels, basic home repairs, childcare, transportation, medical issues, funerals and other disaster-related needs.
So far, more than $5 million has been distributed through grants to 964 households and individuals, according to Tiana Super, a media relations specialist at FEMA. About $4.5 million has gone to housing assistance projects, and more than $400,000 has been distributed for other “disaster-related needs,” she said.
FEMA-distributed funds will not impact an individual's eligibility for social security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid, SNAP or other federal benefit programs.
Applications are also available online, on the FEMA mobile app and via phone, 800-621-3362.
This story was updated March 4 at 11:05 a.m. to include the closure of additional FEMA disaster centers.