FRANKFORT, Ky. -- State and federal disaster recovery officials are urging Kentucky flood victims to call the state/Federal Emergency Management Agency helpline if they are not clear on what assistance is available or how to obtain the assistance. The disaster helpline number is 1-800-525-0321, or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment.
W.R. Padgett, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, explained the steps applicants should take and the guidelines:
First, call the toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
If you receive a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application, you must complete the application and return it to the SBA to be considered for assistance beyond the disaster temporary housing program. This is the only application document you will be asked to complete.
When you call the registration number, you will be asked questions such as the location of the damaged property, directions to the property, family income, Social Security number, and a telephone number where you can be reached.
A FEMA inspector will call to schedule an inspection to verify damages. You or a family representative must be present during the inspection. You will be asked for proof of ownership and occupancy such as a deed, property tax receipt or utility bill.
The disaster-housing program will probably be first to notify you of eligibility. You may qualify for the repair program if your house can be made livable for less than $10,000. If disaster-related damages make your home unsafe and unlivable you may qualify for rental assistance, which helps you rent a place to live while rebuilding your home. You may call the helpline number, 1-800-525-0321, for help in finding temporary lodging.
If you qualify for a low-interest disaster home or business loan, an SBA loss verifier will visit the property. This second inspection is necessary because the SBA loans can cover a broader range of damage. Approval of a loan application usually takes about three weeks and checks can be issued seven to 10 days later.
If your family income is below a certain level, you may be referred to the Individual and Family Grant program without completing an SBA loan application. These grants help in paying for serious disaster-related expenses not covered by loans or other programs.
You will be notified separately of your eligibility for disaster housing assistance, the Individual and Family Grant Program and the SBA disaster loan.
If you move or change telephone numbers, you must let us know. You do this by calling the disaster information helpline 1-800-525-0321 (TTY 1-800-462-7585.) You should also call this number after a week or two if you haven't heard from the FEMA inspector.
Disaster relief specialists will be available to assist applicants at disaster recovery centers March 10-15 in Vanceburg, March 17-19 in Flemingsburg, and March 21-23 in Ashland. Their locations:
Vanceburg - Lions Club Building, 1022 Fairline Drive.
Flemingsburg - Basement of the county courthouse, 100 Court Square.
Ashland - National Guard Armory, 2529 Lexington Ave.