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Monday, September 28, 2009 - 7:07am

FEMA: We Want to Help Get People Out of the Shelters

Craig Fugate knows how devastating disasters can be.

Fugate oversaw Florida's emergency management system when that state was seemingly a magnet for hurricanes during a two summer span earlier this decade. Fugate won wide praise for his deft handling of about a dozen storms during his tenure in that role.

Now, as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Fugate said his department will move quickly to help Georgia residents displaced by the flooding. The key is for victims to register promptly with FEMA to get their claims in.

“We have to send an inspector out and verify the damages in that home. As quickly as we do that we can determine if it’s going to be a small business administration loan, or whether people qualify for a grant. Our goal is to give people assistance as quickly as people, while also making sure we are accountable…It’s going to take several days to do that,” Fugate said.

Fugate praised state officials for their response to the flooding, which is being blamed for ten deaths in the region and at least a half billion dollars in damage. Fugate has also pledged to help find areas that qualify for flood mitigation assistance, which could spur improvements that lessen the impact of high waters in the future.

Fugate is urging flood victims to call 1 (800) 621-FEMA or go to to register for assistance.

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