Baltimore, MD -- If you've received an SBA loan application packet, the process for providing federal disaster assistance is placed on hold until the completed packet is returned.
Disaster recovery officials are urging Maryland residents who've applied for disaster help and have received a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application to fill it out and return it as quickly as possible. The processing of some forms of disaster assistance-such as loans and certain grant referrals-stops until the completed packet is returned. If you don't return the packet, you are shutting off that further assistance without even learning what it might be.
"We want people to understand two things. One, if they complete the application and qualify for an SBA loan, they don't have to take it. And, two, if they don't think they'll qualify for a loan, they still need to fill out and return the application," says William Lokey, the federal official in charge of disaster recovery. "The submission of this form is the key to completing the assistance process."
If you have misplaced your SBA loan packet, you can have it replaced by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center, by calling the FEMA helpline, or by calling the SBA directly at (800) 659-2955.
If you have questions about the SBA forms or the status of your disaster assistance
application, or if you haven't yet applied for aid, you can call the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency toll-free registration
and helpline number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or for the speech or hearing impaired
TTY 1-800-462-7585. The deadline to apply for help is
November 18, 2003.
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.