Mesa, AZ -- Residents and business owners in the counties of Apache, Coconino, Gila and Navajo and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, who sustained damage from the Rodeo-Chediski fire, have about 30 days to apply for disaster assistance. August 24 is the last day applications will be accepted. That is also the deadline for submitting loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property.
"We want people to understand that this is merely an application deadline," said Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) Director Michael P. Austin. Austin added, "For homeowners, renters and businesses who have already applied, their cases will continue to be processed; it's just that we won't be accepting any new applications after August 24."
State and federal disaster recovery officials urge those who have not done so to register as soon as possible by calling the toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY registration number at 1-800-462-7585. The registration numbers are currently available Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
"FEMA's disaster assistance is intended to cover basic needs and necessary expenses and in most cases will not compensate individuals for their entire loss. For instance, federal law limits housing assistance to losses associated with a person's primary residence and precludes secondary homes," Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman stated. "FEMA disaster assistance is like a safety net; it is intended to assist those affected by the disaster on their road to recovery," Coachman added.
The Arizona Division of Emergency Management coordinates emergency services and the efforts of governmental agencies to reduce the impact of disasters on persons and property through disaster mitigation programs and the coordination of federal, state and local government agencies to respond to, and recover from, disasters through training and emergency response planning.
FEMA is the federal agency that coordinates response efforts to federal disasters. The agency's 10 regional offices work directly with the states to help plan for disasters, develop mitigation programs and meet needs when disasters occur. FEMA Region IX serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
SBA low interest disaster loans are the primary source of federal funds for repairing or rebuilding disaster damage to private property owned by homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.