NEW CASTLE, Del. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have provided disaster assistance of more than $2 million for 367 housing and related needs as a result of the severe storms and flooding that occurred between Sept. 15-17 as a result of Hurricane Floyd.
Assistance available to homeowners, renters and businesses includes FEMA housing assistance, low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, disaster unemployment assistance for individuals not covered by other types of unemployment benefits, and, in some cases, grants to cover other uninsured or underinsured losses. The specific amount and type of assistance provided varies from case to case.
Following is a summary of the week's activities:
- The joint FEMA-SBA information site in Newark closed Oct. 14 after providing information to more than 714 individuals and business owners in New Castle County. Survivors sought help primarily in the following categories: Delaware Health and Human Services, 414; New Castle County, 24; Delaware State Housing Authority, 7; hazard mitigation, 185; IRS, 18; SBA, 273; and teleregistration, 86.
- Individuals who have already registered but have questions about assistance or the status of an application can call the toll-free Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
- The deadline for applying for federal disaster assistance in New Castle County, and for returning SBA loan applications for physical damage is Friday, Nov.19, less than five weeks away. Business owners interested in applying for economic injury disaster loans may do so until June 21, 2000.
- The key to disaster victims being eligible for additional assistance lies in the return of SBA loan-application packages. Victims who have already received some disaster assistance may be eligible for additional assistance through the state-administered Individual and Family Grant Program. This could include disaster-related expenses such as replacement of essential personal property, transportation, or the rental of equipment to help with recovery. These grants may also be used for items not normally covered under the SBA disaster loan program, such as disaster-related medical and dental bills. However, the SBA loan packet must be returned in order for applicants to be referred to the Individual and Family Grant Program.
- As of Friday, Oct. 15, FEMA's Disaster Housing Assistance Program had approved $646,484 to 293 registrants. The state of Delaware-administered Individual and Family Grants program had approved $109,728 to 47 registrants. The SBA had approved $1,287,000 in low-interest disaster loans to 27 individuals and businesses. For an application status or for questions, applicants can call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955, Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
- A total of 611 people from New Castle County have registered for assistance.
- FEMA's toll-free registration number is 1-800-462-9029. Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call the FEMA TTY Hotline at 1-800-462-7585.