NEWINGTON , N.H. -- Victims of the May flooding in Maine 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 Maine Emergency Management Agency.
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.
"Essential information provided in the loan application helps determine the right assistance for each applicant. If the SBA does not offer a loan, the individual is then referred to other available disaster assistance," said Kenneth Clark, FEMA federal coordinating officer. 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.
"Anyone who sustained losses due to the flooding disaster should apply for assistance and submit the completed SBA loan application as soon as possible," said Steve Burgess, 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 also available by calling the SBA helpline at 1-800-659-2995 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.