Sherwood, AR -- As of close of business Monday (July 7, 2003) more than 1,200 Arkansans have applied for federal assistance to help with uninsured and underinsured damages to their primary residences caused by the May tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding.
"More than 7,000 flyers have been distributed in the affected counties, and the media has been wonderful in helping us get the word out, but we may have people out there who still haven't called," said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman. "Some people may be worried that it will be a complicated process, but it is actually very easy."
Arkansans in the following counties are eligible to apply for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM): Benton, Chicot, Cleburne, Columbia, Conway, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Faulkner, Fulton, Jackson, Lonoke, Nevada, Perry, Phillips, Poinsett, St. Francis, White and Woodruff.
Individuals and business owners who believe they have suffered losses from the storms in the designated counties are urged to call FEMA's toll-free registration line at 800-621-FEMA (3362) Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The registration number for people who are speech or hearing impaired is 800-462-7585 (TTY). The registration line is now closed on Sundays.
Individuals who have questions concerning their application can call the same number and access the Helpline for additional information. The Helpline allows individuals to check the status of their application and update the information.
The Presidential declaration makes available a wide range of federal disaster assistance programs. Financial assistance for those temporarily displaced by the storms could include loans to repair and replace real or personal property and other assistance to help meet essential disaster-related
"Low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) are not just for business owners, but also are a way for homeowners to rebuild their homes and their lives," said State Coordinating Officer Rich Griffin. "Grants are available to individuals who qualify, but SBA loans go farther in repairing or replacing what was lost."