COLUMBIA, Mo. -- With less than two weeks left for residents of Andrew, Butler, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Pettis, St. Francois and Stoddard counties to apply for federal/state disaster assistance, the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is urging disaster victims who have received an SBA loan application to take the time to fill it out and return it before the June 5, 2006 deadline. Individuals who receive an SBA application and do not complete and return it, may preclude themselves from federal and state disaster programs.
Most of the people who register for assistance online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 will receive a SBA loan application.
"The loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Costello . "If the SBA is unable to make you a disaster loan for all of your losses, the applicant may be referred to FEMA's other needs assistance (ONA) program."
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and, normally, will not compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, FEMA may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other help may come in the form of low-interest disaster loans from the SBA. The loans are available to renters, homeowners, businesses of all sizes and private non profit organizations.
"We urge anyone who sustained losses in the tornado to register for assistance and mail in the completed loan application as soon as possible," said State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Director, Ron Reynolds.
The SBA offers low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations for losses not fully covered by insurance. The SBA may loan up to $200,000 to repair homes, up to $40,000 to replace disaster-damaged personal property and up to $1.5 million is available for businesses.
If you have questions or need help filling out your SBA application you can call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or visit the SBA Website at www.sba.gov/disaster. In the Caruthersville area people who want help filling out the disaster loan application can visit the disaster recovery center at 716 Truman Blvd..
For those who have not yet registered with FEMA, the first step is to apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech or hearing impaired. The registration lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice. Registration can also be done online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.