EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Disaster victims have only a few more days to visit the Disaster Recovery Center at the Detroit City Airport, which will close at 7 p.m. on Friday (August 20) and less than two weeks left to call and apply for assistance by the August 30 deadline if they suffered damage as result of the May 20 to June 8 severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding.
The DRC at the Detroit City Airport, 11499 Conner St., will continue to serve those who need disaster information daily through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. In addition to talking face-to-face with recovery specialists and loan officers, mitigation experts are available to assist visitors with information on cost-effective ways to reduce the risk of damage from future disasters. More than 2,500 residents have already visited the Detroit DRC.
Individuals and business owners who suffered losses in the 23 disaster-declared counties may apply for disaster assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Phone lines are open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and multilingual operators are available. Disaster assistance may continue after the deadline, but victims must call before 6 p.m. on August 30 to begin the process.
To date, more than $37.5 million in grants, which do not have to be repaid, and more than $6 million in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans have been approved to help Michigan homeowners, renters and businesses begin the recovery process. More than 86,000 individuals have called to apply for state and federal disaster assistance.
SBA is urging victims to return their completed applications because it provides the necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for each applicant. SBA has only had about 15 percent of the applications returned. That means that 85 percent of the victims that registered are excluding themselves from additional forms of assistance.
SBA disaster loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance. If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be automatically referred to other available disaster assistance programs, including grants.
Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) workshop, located in the Dearborn Heights Fire Department Headquarters at 1999 N. Beech Daly Road, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. SBA representatives can provide assistance with low-interest loan applications for homeowners, renters, and business owners affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that took place from May 20 to June 8.
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.