EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Although the joint Disaster Recovery Center at the Detroit City Airport will be closing tomorrow evening (7 p.m., August 20), a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) workshop will still be available for an additional week at the same location starting on Monday, August 23.
The SBA workshop, located at the Detroit City Airport, 11499 Conner St., will be open until Friday, August 27. The hours of operation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. SBA representatives will be available to provide assistance with low-interest disaster loan applications for homeowners, renters, and business owners affected by the late May and early June severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Human Services representatives will also be available to answer questions about disaster assistance.
“This is a normal transition of the temporary disaster recovery center locations,” Larry Bailey, Deputy FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, said. “The numbers have been reducing steadily of those applicants with immediate needs visiting the centers and that is usually a good indication that people are receiving the assistance they need.”
More than 3,600 disaster victims and residents have visited one of the seven joint DRCs, which were opened just days after President Bush issued a major disaster declaration for the counties affected by the tornadoes and severe storms. These temporary centers also offered information to anyone interested in learning how to reduce damages from future disasters. The Detroit DRC has provided information to more than 2,600 applicants, since it opened more than five weeks ago on July 12.
“At this stage of the recovery process, the emphasis for assistance is to meet the long-term needs of victims,” State Coordinating Officer, F/Lt. Ralph J. Hobrat, Jr., of the Michigan State Police Emergency Management Division, said.
Additionally, the SBA has two other workshop locations. One is located in the Dearborn Heights Fire Department Headquarters at 1999 N. Beech Daly Road and the other is at Summit Place Mall, 315 N. Telegraph Rd., in Waterford. The Dearborn Heights workshop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Waterford workshop is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until further notice.
SBA has issued almost 50,000 disaster loan applications to renters, homeowners, and business owners, and already approved more than $9.7 million for 909 applicants, including 830 homeowners/renters and 79 business loans. An additional $37,558,953 in FEMA grants has also been approved.
Officials are 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. . If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred to other available disaster assistance programs, including grants.
Those who suffered damages or loss from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred May 20 to June 8 can still apply for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. Multilingual operators are available.
The deadline to call and apply for assistance is Monday, August 30, less than two weeks away. Disaster assistance can continue after the deadline, but residents must call to apply before 6 p.m. on August 30 to begin the process.
Although the joint Detroit Disaster Recovery Center is closing, FEMA off...