Emporia, Kan. -- State and federal disaster officials today advised Kansas ice storm victims who received a disaster loan application that assistance may be limited if they do not complete and return the loan application. Many Kansas storm victims have been initially referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to see if they qualify for a low-interest disaster loan to cover storm damages to their homes, personal property and businesses.
Individuals that received a loan application need to complete and return the application to SBA to be considered for a loan and other forms of federal and state assistance, including grants to cover their losses. If the loan application is not returned, the opportunity for other forms of available assistance may be lost.
"Nobody will be forced to accept an SBA loan," said Carlos Mitchell, the federal official coordinating the Kansas disaster recovery effort. "But the filled-in loan application helps us expedite disaster assistance to those who need and deserve it."
"Housing assistance and emergency home repair grants are approved as soon as possible to get victims into safe, sanitary, and secure housing," said Angee Morgan, the Kansas Human Services Officer. "But eligibility for more long-term recovery assistance, such as the Individual and Family Grants program, can be decided only by reviewing information obtained from the SBA loan application."
Both officials urged everyone who suffered damages or property losses in the recent ice storms to register for disaster assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) toll-free registration number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Speech- or hearing-impaired persons should call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Mitchell emphasized, "If an ice-storm victim is referred to SBA for loan consideration, the only way FEMA or state agencies determine the types of assistance victims may receive is for them to complete and return the loan application."