MOBILE, Ala. -- Many Alabama victims of Hurricane Ivan have called the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register for disaster assistance and then received a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Recovery officials are urging everyone who has received such an application to take time to fill it out and return it promptly.
“The SBA disaster loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for each applicant,” said Mike Hall, federal coordinating officer for the disaster recovery effort. “If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be automatically referred to other disaster assistance programs.”
While FEMA housing assistance is not subject to SBA loan requirements, filling out the SBA application is often a necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance. SBA loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance
“We are urging anyone who sustained losses because of Hurricane Ivan to apply for assistance and mail in the completed SBA loan application as soon as possible,” said State Coordinating Officer and Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency Bruce Baughman.
SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to qualified homeowners, renters, landlords, non-profit organizations, and businesses of any size that suffered losses due to the disaster. These loans are designed for those disaster victims uninsured and those not fully covered by insurance. Interest rates are as low as 3.187 percent for homeowners and renters and 2.900 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.
The SBA also makes mitigation funds available to many disaster victims who have already been approved for a low-interest disaster loan. SBA funds are intended to help borrowers by offering an increase of up to 20 percent of their approved physical loan amount to help pay for mitigation measures.
For more information, call the SBA Helpline at 1-800-359-2227 or visit the SBA Website at www.SBA.gov/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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.