El PASO, Texas -- On Monday, the last day to apply for FEMA assistance, 432 individuals registered for assistance according to the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management (GDEM).
$3.2 million has been approved to El Paso households through the FEMA Housing Program, part of the FEMA/State Individuals and Households Program (IHP). Housing assistance provides grants to renters to find alternate housing. Homeowners may receive grants to make the home livable or, if that cannot be done, grants are given to rent alternate housing. The program is funded 100 percent by FEMA.
$920,000 has been approved under the FEMA/State Other Needs Assistance Program (ONA). Another part of the IHP, ONA provides grants for lost personal property, transportation, medical, dental and funeral expenses to those who have serious and essential needs unmet by other assistance programs.
$8 million in low interest disaster loans has been approved for homeowners, renters and business owners by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Low-interest loans may be available to renters, for personal property and automobiles, and homeowners, to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate or personal property, with interest rates as low as 3.125 percent. Businesses of all sizes may be eligible for a loan up to $1.5 million for terms as low as 4 percent. An SBA low-interest disaster loan is the primary source of federal funding to help those affected return to pre-disaster conditions.
1,948 visits have been made to the FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). The centers were located in El Paso, Socorro, Horizon, Clint, Vinton, Canutillo and the SBA (DLOC) office was at 7500 Viscount in El Paso. These centers offered disaster victims an opportunity to meet with representatives from FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Texas Governor's Department of Emergency Management (GDEM) to get answers to their disaster recovery questions.
"The SBA loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for that applicant. If the SBA is unable to offer a loan, the individual then may be referred to other available disaster assistance," said Kenneth Clark. "The loan packets must be returned to SBA before October 30th, and if they have any questions affected individuals can call SBA Customer Service at 800-659-2955," said Clark.
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of low-interest disaster loans.
Individuals, families and business owners who suffered losses in the declared counties and still have questions or need to update their information should call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairment Individuals with Internet access have the option to apply on FEMA's website at www.fema.gov, where valuable recovery information is also available.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.