Little Rock, AR -- Arkansans who suffered damage in December's ice storms have less than three weeks to register for state and federal disaster assistance, recovery officials said today.
Individuals, families and businesses in the declared counties who suffered damage from the December ice storms should call FEMA at the toll-free number, 800-462-9029 to register by February 27. The deadline is sixty days after the federal declaration of a major disaster in Arkansas.
Once registered, those who had damage may be eligible for grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also are available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance. Those who have questions about their applications can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-525-0321. For the speech and hearing impaired, the number for both registration and questions about applications is 800-462-7585. These lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
There are other disaster-related deadlines.
Local and county governments and private non-profit organizations have two deadlines to submit their Requests for Public Assistance.
- The 61 counties declared eligible on January 10 have a deadline of February 9.
- The four counties declared eligible on January 22 (Baxter, Boone, Cleburne and Sharp) have a deadline of February 21.
The federal agreement to pay 90 percent of the cost of debris removal (rather than the usual 75 percent) has been extended through April 28. Removal is carried out by state and local governments.
- Some people who temporarily lost jobs because of the ice storms, and who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, can apply to their local Arkansas Employment Security Department office for disaster unemployment assistance. While the deadline for this program has expired in most counties, applicants can still apply:
- through February 28 in Cleburne, Fulton, Greene, Marion and Stone counties;
- through February 15 in Baxter, Conway, Independence, Izard, Newton, Pope, Searcy, and Van Buren counties.