Massachusetts Storm Assistance Resources for
Communities Impacted by the Tornadoes

June 19, 2011
FEMA OPENS NINE NEW DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS (DRCs)

At the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs), those affected by the June 1st storms can meet with specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Additionally, representatives from several state agencies under the Offices of Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development and Labor and Workforce Development will be available at the DRCs to provide state assistance where available. Catholic Charities, along with other vital federal and state voluntary agencies, will also be represented at the DRCs to help coordinate donations and volunteer inquiries.

First Step:
Please note that, before visiting a DRC, those seeking assistance are strongly urged to first register with FEMA for assistance. Registration may be completed online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or in Spanish at www.disasterassistance.gov/home?langcode=ES, by smartphone through m.FEMA.gov, or by calling FEMA's toll-free registration HelpLine at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals with hearing or speech impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585, or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362. Multi-language assistance is available. Telephone registration is available from 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.

Locations will be open from 8 am to 7 pm, seven days a week until further notice:

Springfield, MassachusettsTechnology Park
One Federal Street, Building #104
Springfield, Massachusetts 01105

West Springfield, Massachusetts
J. Edward Christian Municipal Office Building
26 Central Street, 3rd Floor
West Springfield, Massachusetts 01089

Agawam:
MEMA Emergency Operations Center

1002 Suffield Street
Agawam, Massachusetts 01001

Brimfield:
Hitchcock Academy
2 Brookfield Road
Brimfield, Massachusetts 01010

Sturbridge:
Sturbridge Police Station
346 Main Street
Sturbridge, Massachusetts 01566

Wilbraham:
Wilbraham & Munson Academy
Blake Middle School
20 Faculty Street (in back of building)
Wilbraham, Massachusetts 01095

Monson:
Granite Valley Middle School
21 Thompson Street
Monson, Massachusetts 01057

Southbridge:
Jacob Edwards Library
236 Main Street
Southbridge, Massachusetts 01550

Westfield:
Munger Hill Elementary School
33 Mallard Lane
Westfield, Massachusetts 01085

DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES

Storm Assistance Centers
As of June 3, 2011, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced the opening of three Massachusetts Storm Assistance Centers in Springfield, Monson/Palmer and Southbridge that will provide vital supports for individuals and families impacted by severe weather in the region on June 1, 2011. Governor Deval Patrick has called on agencies across state government to work collaboratively to meet the immediate health, human service, and housing and employment needs of those affected by the storms. The Individuals and families impacted by the storms are encouraged to visit one of three new Massachusetts Storm Assistance Centers listed below. The Centers are open 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., including Saturday and Sunday, until further notice:

Springfield: Department of Transitional Assistance Office (413) 858-1000
95 Liberty Street, Springfield

Palmer: Department of Developmental Service Central/West Regional Office (413) 283-3411
171 State Avenue, Monson/Palmer Line, 01069

Southbridge: Department of Transitional Assistance Office (508) 765-2400
1 North Street, Southbridge

Storm Aftermath Housing Shelter
MassMutual Center (as of June 5, 2011)
1277 Main Street, Springfield, MA

Red Cross
Providing meals, comfort kits, and emotional support

Pioneer Valley (413) 442-1506
Central MA Chapter (508) 595-3700

 The Food Bank of W. MA (413) 247-9738 or (800) 247-9632
Delivering emergency food for tornado victims in the Springfield area

 The Monson Development Center (413) 283 – 3411
175 State Ave, Palmer
Offering clothing and laundry service to those in need

The Salvation Army of Springfield (339) 502 5900
Providing clothing and household items

Insurance Issues (617) 521-7777
Help in filing a claim for your home

MA Division of Insurance
http://www.mass.gov

Information for reconnecting with friends and family impacted by the recent tornadoes in Springfield (413) 736-3111
The Red Cross Safe and Well website is being used to track residents who have been displaced by recent tornadoes in the Springfield area. The Safe and Well website is a free, public communication tool where those affected by disasters can register on the site and post messages that they are safe. Loved ones can then conduct a search on the site to view the posted messages.

Go to www.redcross.org/safeandwell. Enter username as “Safe and Well” if you were impacted by the storm, or search for a loved one you cannot locate.

If you do not have access to a computer and the internet, Springfield’s 3-1-1 Call Center can assist you with entering yourself into the system or searching for a loved one.

Registration computers will be made available at shelter locations within the City of Springfield for residents located at those sites.

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (DUA) (877)-872-5627 (TTY 1-877-889-5627)
DUA provides unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a presidentially-declared major disaster. Self-employed persons who cannot work as a result of the disaster can also apply for benefits. For more information call

DISASTER SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE (D-SNAP) (866) 950-3663
D-SNAP is a food assistance program specifically for disaster survivors following a presidentially-declared disaster.

The D-SNAP system operates under a different set of eligibility and benefit delivery requirements than the regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Those who may not ordinarily qualify for SNAP may be eligible for D-SNAP, as the D-SNAP eligibility requirements take into account a household's out-of-pocket disaster-related expenses and count only take-home pay and accessible liquid resources.

For more information call 1-866-950-3663

DAMAGE/CLAIM REPORTING 2-1-1
The United Way is taking Damage Claims, please call 2-1-1

 IRS DISASTER RELIEF
The IRS may allow you to deduct disaster-related losses from your prior year’s tax return. Filing an amended return may allow you to receive an immediate tax refund. For more information, visit www.irs.gov or speak to a tax professional

DISASTER LEGAL SERVICES (800) 621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585)
Provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or as a result of a disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their disaster-related needs.

Local lawyers typically provide assistance such as: help with insurance claims for doctor and hospital bills, loss of property, loss of life, etc.; drawing up new wills, powers of attorney and other legal documents lost during the disaster; help with home repair contracts and contractors; advice on problems with landlords.

ASSISTANCE FOR PETS

Worcester Animal Rescue League (508) 853-0030
139 Holden Street
Worcester, MA 01606
Email: petshelp@aol.com

Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society (413) 781-4000
171 Union St.
Springfield, MA
Email: info@dpvhs.org

DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESSES

SBA ASSISTANCE (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339)
SBA provides low-interest business loans of up to $2,000,000 to cover both repair of physical damage and to help a business overcome disaster-related economic injury.
Rates will not exceed 4% for businesses with no other credit options and repayment terms of up to 30 years are available
If your business property secures an existing mortgage, a refinance of that mortgage can be included in the new loan

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (877) 872-5627 (TTY 1-877-889-5627)
Provides unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a presidentially-declared major disaster.
Self-employed persons who cannot work as a result of the disaster can also apply for benefits.

IRS DISASTER RELIEF
The IRS may allow you to deduct disaster-related losses from your prior year’s tax return. Filing an amended return may allow you to receive an immediate tax refund.
For more information, visit www.irs.gov or speak to a tax professional

POLICE 413-787-6302
If someone is in need of police assistance and it is not an emergency, please call: 413-787-6302

OTHER EMERGENCY NUMBERS:

Comcast Cable: (800) 266-2278
WMECO: Outage (413)781-4300 / 877-659-6326
Columbia Gas: (800) 677-5052

REBUILDING (617) 727.3200
In the wake of a storm, fly-by-night repair businesses will solicit work, often door-to-door, in unmarked trucks. They might require advance payment and make big promises on which they won’t be able to deliver.

Seek at least three bids. Beware of low-ball estimates that may potentially balloon over time or foreshadow shoddy work to come.

For further clarification, please contact your local building department, as well as the following websites/telephone numbers:

MA Department of Public Safety: www.mass.gov/dps / 617.727.3200
MA Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulations: www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocahomepage&L=1&L0=Home&sid=Eoca

Donations and Volunteerism
Supporting the Victims of the June 1, 2011 Tornado

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced on June 6, 2011 that the United Way of Tri-County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Donation Management System are helping coordinate donation and volunteer efforts for those affected by the June 1st storms in Western and Central Massachusetts.
“As the rebuilding process from the devastating tornadoes of June 1 proceeds, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) encourages individuals and organizations, who wish to assist, to contribute wisely towards the recovery efforts,” states MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Ironically, donated goods and volunteers that are not specifically needed in a disaster area can hurt more than help. To that end, the Commonwealth has set up a few processes to help you donate and volunteer.”

Monetary Donations

Those wishing to make monetary donations to assist the most impacted individuals can contribute to the Massachusetts Statewide Disaster Relief Fund. This effort, hosted by the United Way of Tri-County can be found online at www.unitedwaytri-county.org/disaster. These funds will then be distributed in the form of grants to meet the needs of individuals and families through long-term recovery groups recognized by the Massachusetts Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (MAVOAD).

Volunteer Time or Skills

Members of the public interested in volunteering their time/skills or wishing to donate products/ equipment are encouraged to do so by using the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Donation’s Management System at http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/FEMA/.

Red Cross: (800) 733-2767
United Way Volunteer Center: Call 2-1-1
Salvation Army: (413) 733-1518

Additional questions regarding volunteering or donating can be answered by
calling 2-1-1