New Castle, DE - Residents and businesses that suffered damage from tropical storm Henri and Hurricane Isabel who have called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration number may have received a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). That number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY 1-800-462-7585).
State and federal officials urge recipients to complete the application and return it promptly. The application is the key to qualifying for several assistance programs offered by the State of Delaware, FEMA and the SBA. Don't delay completing and returning the application; it may hamper access to recovery programs.
"There is help available for those who need it," said William E. Leggiero, Jr., Area Director of SBA's Disaster Assistance Office. "We are committed to providing a quick response on all loan requests, but it is important that interested individuals and businesses return their completed application as soon as possible."
Interest rates on SBA loans for homeowners and renters are as low as 2.562% with terms extending to 30 years, if necessary. Returning the SBA loan packet does not obligate an applicant to accept a loan, and although it is NOT required for temporary housing assistance, it is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance. Additional information regarding the SBA disaster loan program is available at sba.gov.
"If the SBA determines you don't qualify for a loan, you may be considered for a grant through the FEMA Other Needs Program (ONA)," said Mike Hall, Federal Coordinating Officer for FEMA. " These grants can help those affected by the disaster meet serious disaster-related needs not covered by other programs."
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.