Cridersville, OH -- The Disaster Recovery Center in Akron will transition to a workshop for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at the close of business on Saturday, August 16, disaster recovery officials announced today.
"The Disaster Recovery Center in Akron will be operating through 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 16," said Richard Roman, deputy state coordinating officer. "When the center reopens on Monday, August 18, it will serve primarily as a resource and information workshop for people applying for SBA low-interest disaster loans."
The SBA workshop will be open from Monday, August 18 through Friday, August 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A small FEMA staff will remain at the center to answer general questions about federal disaster assistance programs.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the SBA operate the Disaster Recovery Centers.
"Even after the Akron center closes, FEMA will continue to be just a telephone call away," said Ron Sherman, federal coordinating officer. "People wanting to register for disaster assistance need only call FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired."
The center, which is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, is located in Summit County:
Patterson Park Community Center
800 Patterson Avenue
"People who have already registered for assistance can call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to check the status of their applications or ask questions, including the location of disaster centers in nearby counties," Sherman said.
Disaster assistance programs include housing assistance, grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other programs, and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters, landlords and businesses. Disaster unemployment assistance, tax assistance and other special services are also available to eligible persons affected by the disaster.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.