NEWBURGH , Ind . -- Victims of the November 6 tornado and severe storms who receive a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) should take time to fill it out ? even if they don't want a loan, urged disaster recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the SBA.
Many of the people who call 1-800-621-FEMA (TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech -- or hearing-impaired) or online at www.fema.gov -- and apply for assistance will receive a packet containing the SBA loan application.
The SBA disaster loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for each applicant. While FEMA housing assistance is not subject to SBA loan requirements, people who apply and do not qualify may be referred to other programs, but they must complete the SBA loan application before they can be considered for certain FEMA grants and programs.
" Indiana residents need not wait to settle their insurance claims before applying and returning their SBA application packets," said Michael Lampton, communications manager at SBA's disaster field operations center in Atlanta . "Disaster victims could be delaying their recovery efforts substantially by doing so."
For more information on how to complete the loan application, or for more information on SBA assistance, call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955, log on to www.sba.gov/disaster or visit a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC).
"We want residents to understand and have access to every resource available to them," said Brad Gair, Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO). 'We are proud of our partnership with the SBA and strongly urge everyone to take advantage of the programs they have to offer."
SBA loans are the primary source of long-term recovery assistance. The SBA looks at the income-to-debt ratio of those who apply to determine if they are eligible. Based on this information, the SBA determines whether the applicant has the resources to pay back a low-interest loan. If the applicant can't afford a loan or they do not qualify, they will be directed to FEMA grants and other resources.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program.