CHARLESTON, W. Va. — When tornadoes, severe storms and flooding struck in parts of West Virginia in late February and early March, residents in disaster-declared counties became eligible for federal assistance. Yet some people who suffered losses and damage in the wake of the disasters have failed to seek help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Disasters are relatively rare, and many people are unaware of how things work,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Deanne Criswell.  “Often people who would qualify for assistance miss out because they are mistaken or misinformed.”