RALEIGH, N.C. -- Anyone who has previously registered for state or federal disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recovery Hotline does not need to re-register to qualify for the special state-funded disaster help programs, recovery officials emphasized today.
"However," State Coordinating Officer Eric Tolbert said, "it is essential that those who received a U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low interest loan application fill it out and return it as soon as possible if they wish to become eligible for federal and state funding. Returning an application does not obligate an applicants to accept a loan."
The state is using the SBA loan eligibility determination to qualify those affected by the 1999 hurricanes and floods for special state disaster help programs funded by a special session of the North Carolina General Assembly.
"Some folks are trying to re-register with FEMA, because they did not receive an SBA loan application," said Tolbert.
"Some people did not receive SBA applications, because they were found to be ineligible for a loan at the time they initially registered. These people were referred directly to the state-administered Individual and Family Grant program, " he continued, "And if so, they are still registered and will be considered for the special state programs."
FEMA announced the extension of the registration deadline through Tuesday, February 29. Tolbert urged all North Carolinians who may have suffered losses during the '99 storms to call the FEMA recovery Hotline immediately to become eligible for all regular and special federal and state assistance program.
The number to call is 1-800-462-9029 or 1-800-462-7585 for persons with speech or hearing impairments through February 29.
Individuals who have already registered and have questions about the status of their eligibility should call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Operators with multi-lingual capability are standing by to help.