ATLANTA, Ga. -- Individuals and business owners who sustained damage from Hurricane Ivan and who have not yet registered for federal disaster assistance, have approximately 30 days to apply. November 17, 2004, is the last day to file an application according to officials of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
November 17, 2004, also is the deadline for submitting loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property.
"Those who suffered losses and have not yet registered for assistance should do so soon," said Nick Russo, FEMA's federal coordinating officer. "We want to make sure that all applicants receive the aid for which they are eligible."
Renters, homeowners, and business owners may be eligible for disaster assistance if their primary residence or business is located in any of the Georgia counties designated under the disaster declaration for Hurricane Ivan. Those counties are Carroll, Cherokee, Cobb, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Early, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Madison, Miller, Pickens, Rabun, Towns, Union and White.
The November 17 registration and SBA deadlines also apply to individuals in the counties of Clayton and Forsyth. These counties were added to the original declaration on October 14, 2004.
SBA disaster loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance. The loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for each applicant. If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be automatically referred to other disaster assistance programs.
"Anyone who has received the SBA loan application in the mail after registering with FEMA is strongly encouraged to fill it out and return it before the November 17 deadline," said Georgia State Coordinating Officer Mike Sherberger. "The SBA loan application is necessary in order to be considered for any other form of disaster assistance."
To register for disaster assistance, call toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice. Those already registered for disaster assistance can call these numbers if they need to update information on their applications. In addition, residents of federal disaster areas can register for assistance and find valuable recovery information on the Internet at http://www.fema.gov.
For more information, or help in filling out the SBA disaster loan application, call the SBA Helpline at 1-800-359-2227 or visit the SBA Website at www.SBA.gov/disaster.
Applicants may qualify for assistance under several federal and state programs. These include temporary disaster housing assistance; U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes; and grants to meet disaster related needs not covered by other programs or insurance.
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.