NEWINGTON, N.H. -- Victims of the May flooding in New Hampshire who receive a loan application from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) should take the 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 New Hampshire Bureau of Emergency Management (BEM).
Many of the people who call the toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 or apply for assistance online at www.fema.gov will receive a packet containing the SBA loan application within seven to ten days of making the registration call.
"The loan application provides necessary information for determining the right assistance for each individual applicant. If the SBA decides not to offer a loan, the individual is then automatically referred to other available disaster assistance," Kenneth Clark, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said. FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate individuals for their entire loss.
If disaster victims have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under an insurance policy. Some disaster assistance does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of low-interest disaster loans.
These low-interest disaster loans are available to residents and businesses of all sizes in the declared counties that were affected by the May flooding. Interest rates on SBA loans can be as low as 2.9 percent for homeowners and renters and 4.0 percent for businesses. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
"We are urging anyone who sustained losses because of the storm to apply for assistance and mail-in the completed loan application as soon as possible," said Mike Poirier, state coordinating officer.
People who have questions about their application, or who want to apply for disaster assistance, should call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment should call, TTY 1-800-462-7585. Information on SBA loan applications is available by calling the SBA helpline at 1-800-659-2955 or visiting the SBA Website at www.SBA.gov/disaster.
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. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.