On March 20, President Biden granted a Major Disaster Declaration for Maine regarding the severe storms and flooding that occurred Jan. 9-13 (two storms combined into one incident). Cumberland County was included in this declaration and is eligible to receive federal funding for both individual assistance and public assistance. FEMA staff arrived in Scarborough neighborhoods on April 2 to begin meeting with individual property owners that sustained damages during the January storms. FEMA is specifically contacting individual homeowners and small businesses at this time, starting in the Higgins Beach and Pine Point Beach neighborhoods that sustained the most damage.

Residents will be able to apply directly to the individual assistance program. FEMA will also establish a hotline and set up a Disaster Recovery Center where people can go to have their questions answered, get guidance on how to apply and more.

In January, the town of Scarborough shared a FEMA form for households, businesses and nonprofit organizations to report any damages incurred. This was a crucial step in documenting the extent of damage to our community and helped determine the federal need for the disaster declaration. That said, residents who previously reported damages are not automatically applied for aid. These residents now need to apply at the Disaster Recovery Center or via the hotline. Those who reported damages will be notified of next steps.

There are several ways to apply for FEMA assistance if you had any damage to your property:

• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. The helpline is available daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.

• Go online to disasterassistance.gov.


• Download the FEMA mobile app, available at Google Play or the Apple App Store.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information ready:

• A phone number where you can be contacted

• Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying

• Your Social Security number

• A general list of damage and losses


• Banking information if you choose direct deposit

• If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name

If you have a homeowner’s or flood insurance policy, file your insurance claim immediately, before applying for federal assistance. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who may be underinsured may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

The U.S. Small Business Administration will also have a physical presence in Cumberland County to administer its low/no-interest disaster loan program. This is available to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters in the region affected by the Jan. 9 and 13 storms. Loans are for repairing or replacing damaged property. Businesses and nonprofits can get working capital loans to meet financial obligations that cannot be met due to the disaster. Applications for disaster loans may be submitted online using the MySBA Loan Portal at lending.sba.gov.

For more information on Maine’s recovery from the severe storm and flooding, go to the Maine Flood Resources and Assistance Hub at maine.gov/flood and fema.gov/disaster/4764. Follow FEMA on X, formerly known as Twitter, at twitter.com/femaregion1 and at facebook.com/FEMA.

Comments are not available on this story.