Columbia, MO -- State and federal officials urge disaster victims who receive loan applications as part of their assistance package to return the forms. The applications must be completed and returned before further assistance can be considered, say representatives of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Low-interest, long-term loans are a primary source of recovery funds following the tornadoes and floods that struck Missouri starting in late April. The loans, which are tailored to each applicant's financial means, are available not just to businesses, but the homeowners and renters as well. Disaster home loans may be made for up to $200,000 for repairs to homes and up to $40,000 for replacement of disaster-damaged personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets.
Loan applications are issued to all who seek assistance following President Bush's May 6 disaster declaration and appear able to qualify based on limited information. After returning the loan application, some may be offered loans for the full amount they seek, some may be declined for the loan and referred to the Individual and Family Grant Program for their needs and some may be offered a combination of the two forms of assistance. Returning an application in no way obligates an applicant to take the loan. However, the sooner an application is returned the sooner the process can go forward for providing assistance to the applicant.
People who suffered damage due to tornadoes in late April or floods in May who have still not applied for assistance should call the toll-free registration number by July 8 to begin the recovery process. FEMA's toll-free registration number is 800-621-FEMA (3362). For the hearing- or speech-impaired, the TTY number is 800-462-7585. The registration telephone number is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The SBA provides assistance in completing the form to those who call 800-366-6303.