St. Paul, MN -- "It only takes one phone call to apply for disaster assistance," Kevin Leuer, director and state coordinating officer, Minnesota Division of Emergency Management, said.
With the announcement made on June 8 by Joe M. Allbaugh, Director Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), fourteen additional Minnesota counties and two Tribal governments were designated for individual assistance as an amendment to an earlier disaster declaration for Minnesota. All those who suffered damages from the severe winter storms, tornadoes and flooding in the eligible counties are urged to call 1 800 462--9029 (TTY 800 462--7585) to start the application process. The eligible counties are: Anoka, Beltrami, Brown, Carver, Chisago, Clearwater, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Kittson, Koochiching, Nicollet, Red Lake, and Scott Counties, and the Tribal governments of Red Lake and White Earth.
This one phone call begins the application process for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs such as funding for disaster housing assistance, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low--interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other programs. The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is July 15.
"Don't assume that you are ineligible or there is not enough assistance for everyone," Jim Roche, FEMA federal coordinating officer, emphasized. "We don't want to miss anyone affected by the severe storms and flooding who may need help to begin the recovery process. Tax dollars are set aside specifically for disaster assistance."
Once the phone call is made, applicants may hear from one or more inspectors who will schedule a visit to look at damaged property. "Applicants should ask to see identification from everyone saying they are damage inspectors," Leuer said. All inspectors and verifiers carry official photo identification. "If you don't see an ID card or badge, ask to see it," Leuer said.
Another form of assistance made available through the disaster declaration helps those who may have become unemployed as a result of the flooding and severe storms. Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides weekly benefits to those individuals out of work due to the disaster, including self--employed persons, farm owners, and others not covered under regular unemployment benefits. An application for DUA and more information about the program can be found on the Minnesota Department of Economic Security website: www.mnworkforcecenter.org, or call 1--888--438--5627 for more information.
Temporary SBA Workshops Still Open
As a part of the application process, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may send applicants a loan packet after that first call. It is very important to complete this packet and return it.
Applicants can receive face--to--face help in filling out the SBA loan packet at one of the nine SBA workshops located around the state. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise noted.
|Benton County||581 Hwy 23 NE, Foley|
|Goodhue County||885 East 7th St, Red Wing|
|Washington County||1520 S. St. Croix Trail, Lakeland|
|Chippewa County||629 North 11th St., Mon...|