SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in assisting the people of Salt Lake County to recover from the devastation caused by the August 11 tornado, has issued its first checks to victims for low-interest loans.
The first two recipients are Salt Lake residents Jennifer and Carl Newland, who had no insurance, and Jennifer Frantz, whose insurance did not adequately cover tornado damages to her automobile. At a presentation ceremony on Thursday, both expressed appreciation to the SBA over the ease of the loan-application process and the speed with which the checks were issued. According to Newland, she was "scared" when she visited the SBA at FEMA's Disaster Recovery Center, 309 E. 100 South, because "I didn't have any insurance, and I thought they'd yell at me." She discovered quite the opposite, and, "Everyone was terrific," she remarked after being presented with the check for the loan.
In a presidentially declared disaster, the SBA works in cooperation with FEMA to help victims cover the costs of damages for which they have no insurance, or are underinsured. This can include home loans to repair disaster damaged primary residences and personal property (renters may be eligible for personal property loans), and business loans to replace disaster-damaged business facilities, real estate, inventory, machinery, or equipment.
To determine eligibility for tornado-related assistance, victims should first call FEMA's toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029 (hearing or speech impaired individuals may call the FEMA TTY Hotline at 1-800-462-7585). Those with questions who have already teleregistered should call the FEMA Hotline at 1-800-525-0321 (TTY Hotline 1-800-462-7585) or visit the Disaster Recovery Center.