THOMASVILLE, Ga. -- One week after a presidential declaration enabled residents of southwestern Georgia to register for federal disaster programs, over $1 million in disaster assistance has been approved for eligible recipients in the five declared counties according to state and federal officials overseeing the recovery effort.
Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer, said 521 residents had applied through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teleregistration number (1-800-462-9029) for some sort of disaster assistance, including disaster housing, individual and family grants (IFG) and loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Davies said that 160 residents had requested disaster housing assistance due to damage to their homes and that almost 90 percent of the inspections had been completed to date.
A breakdown of recovery assistance to date:
|Type||Applicants||Approved to date||Amount|
The SBA Disaster Loan Program offers financial assistance to eligible applicants to rebuild their homes and businesses in the aftermath of a disaster. SBA disaster loans are intended to help restore disaster-damaged property to a pre-disaster condition. Homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 to repair primary residences. Homeowners and renters can apply for up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
"The SBA loan program is an integral part of the long-term recovery effort," said Davies. "When disaster survivors need to borrow for uninsured losses, low-interest SBA loans help make recovery affordable,"
Recovery officials emphasized that it is not necessary to wait for an insurance settlement to be finalized before applying for an SBA loan. The officials said that representatives from the SBA are available at the state/federal Disaster Recovery Center, located on the 4th floor of the Camilla City Hall, 30 E. Broad Street, to answer questions and provide assistance with loan applications. No appointment is necessary.
The SBA makes two types of disaster loans:
- Physical Disaster loans: Homeowners, renters, non-farm businesses of all sizes, and non-profit organizations are eligible for these disaster loans. For individuals, these loans serve as the primary source of funding for permanent rebuilding and replacement of uninsured disaster damages to privately owned homes or personal property.
- Economic Injury Disaster loans: Provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a physical disaster. The law restricts economic injury disaster loans to small businesses only.
- Gary W. McConnell, director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), noted that agricultural producers in the declared counties should seek disaster assistance from specialized programs supervised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "The farmers of southwest Georgia need to know that programs are available to help them with farm-related needs in this difficult time" said McConnell, who urged farmers in Colquitt, Decatur, Grady, Mitchell and Tift counties to contact their local Farm Service Bureau Agent to seek further information.
- Individuals seeking assistance are encouraged to call 1-800-462-9029 to register to determine if they are eligible under any of the state and federal disaster relief programs. The toll-free number will operate from 8a.m. to 6p.m (ET), Sunday through Saturday. Individuals with hearin...