RICHMOND, Va. -- Individuals and business owners with damage from Tropical Depression Gaston who wish to speak in person with a representative of the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) should visit their closest Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center before the close of business October 8.
“It’s important that people seeking assistance complete and return their SBA loan applications as soon as possible,” said Marianne C. Jackson, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for the Gaston recovery effort. “Going through the SBA is important. Even if an individual is declined an SBA loan, they must complete that step in order to qualify for other assistance that may be available.”
“Folks need to understand that there is a process,” said Michael M. Cline, who is coordinating the recovery for the state. “If they don’t follow the process, they won’t receive the aid.”
The two remaining Disaster Recovery Centers, at 730 E. Broad St. in Richmond and at the Dumbarton Library at 6800 Staples Mill Road, are set to close Friday, October 8.
Representatives from the SBA are at the centers, which are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“This is really the last chance Gaston victims will have to talk with representatives from the SBA face-to-face,” Jackson said.
Gaston victims who want to apply for federal disaster aid should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 24 hours a day. These calls should be made before visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. The last day to apply is Tuesday, November 2.
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.