Four Hampton Roads cities qualify for FEMA relief

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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Starting Thursday, residents and businesses in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach can apply online for FEMA assistance.

There is no exact formula for determining which cities qualify for the relief money, but there are a number of factors that help FEMA determine which areas do qualify. The factors include trauma in communities, available voluntary agency assistance, concentration of damages, and insurance coverage. So, the areas that have the most amount of damage assessed by local, state and federal agencies are the places that qualify for relief.

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FEMA crews are on their way to Virginia. In the meantime, people can apply online. Plus, one local city has set up its own disaster recovery center.

“We felt like we needed to do something so that the residents could you know have some assistance,” said Michelle Cowling, Chesapeake’s Director of Human Services.

On Thursday, the Human Services building was filled with city agencies and local non-profits who were giving people information on resources.

“We will never be able to make them whole probably because of just the extent of damage,” Cowling said. “But this gives them an opportunity to really come and talk about what they’ve experienced.”

Both the local agencies and FEMA encourage people to document their damages. If they don’t, there’s no way to know if they’re getting the appropriate help.

“If they’ve had some kind of damage, they need to let us know if they have not already reported it,” said Cowling.

FEMA will set up recovery centers in the area.

Chesapeake officials say they’re already helping people apply for the federal relief.

“You can go on that website, you can call that number, you can even see some of the eligibility requirements from the website,” Cowling said.

FEMA says they are still evaluating other cities in the area.

For more information on the recovery center in Chesapeake, visit their website. For more information on applying for FEMA aid, visit their website. To find out if you qualify for disaster relief, visit this resource website.