Findlay, OH -- In the eight days that the Disaster Recovery Centers were open, 279 visits were made to one of the five fixed or satellite operations, state and federal recovery officials said today.
"The centers have now transitioned to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) workshops," said State Coordinating Officer Dale Shipley of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. "Those needing help with filling out a low interest disaster loan application or have questions on the program should visit one of those as soon as possible."
SBA workshops are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Locations are:
- Ottawa County Courthouse Annex, 315 Madison Street, Port Clinton
- Anthony Wayne School, 641 North Jefferson Street, Van Wert
- Seneca County Public Safety Building, 126 Hopewell Avenue, Tiffin
Federal Coordinating Officer Ron Sherman of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also noted that "Help with questions on federal and state disaster assistance is just a phone call away. The FEMA Helpline -1-800-621-3362 -- is available from 8.a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, to help with many of the questions that were brought to us at the recovery centers."
Those affected by the November 10 tornadoes talked with disaster recovery specialists at the centers about the following concerns:
- The SBA saw 177 homeowners about low interest disaster loans to repair or rebuild damaged structures, SBA also saw 15 business owners about business loans. SBA provides low interest disaster loans to renters, homeowners and small businesses of all sizes under a Presidential disaster declaration.
- The FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP) Disaster Housing desk received 108 visits. IHP provides FEMA grants for short-term housing for those who cannot or should not live in disaster damaged structures and repairs to make a home liveable.
- The FEMA/State of Ohio mitigation team visited with 77 attendees. Mitigation specialists provide guidance on how to rebuild a more wind resistant structure. Key among this guidance is how to build an in-home safe room - the best protection for your family against tornadoes. A safe room is a small interior room, built to extensively-tested strict specifications and anchored to the house foundation to resist overturning and uplift, and can be used for other non-emergency purposes, like a bathroom or large closet.
- In addition, 36 visits were made to the Internal Revenue Service representative; 41 registered with the FEMA toll free registration line -1-800-621-3362; 46 inquired about Disaster Unemployment Assistance; 33 inquired about insurance issues and 9 inquired about crisis counseling.
Federal and state disaster assistance provides help to those who have uninsured or underinsured disaster losses. No one should wait until an insurance settlement is made to register with FEMA. Register now at 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585 - from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.