INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indiana residents and business owners in the disaster designated counties of Lake , Vanderburgh and Warrick who sustained damage in the severe storms and flooding that occurred Sept. 12 - 14 have less than one month to apply for disaster assistance. Tuesday, Dec. 5, is the last day applications will be accepted for individual assistance.
"We want people to understand that this is merely an application deadline," FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Larry Sommers said. "For individuals who have already applied, their cases will continue to be processed. New telephone or online applications will not be accepted after the Dec. 5 deadline."
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not done so to apply as soon as possible. There are two easy ways to begin the application process. You may call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available to answer the call. Residents with Internet access have the option to register on the agency's Web site at www.fema.gov where valuable recovery information is also available
Even if disaster victims have insurance, they may be eligible for disaster assistance. In order to complete the application for assistance, however, FEMA will need the resident's insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits. Applicants can update their information with FEMA by calling the helpline at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 .
"I'd like to remind applicants to stay in touch with FEMA about their applications, especially if they have received an insurance settlement," said Eric Dietz, Indiana Department of Homeland Security executive director and state coordinating officer. "If you were uninsured or your insurance policy did not cover some of your disaster-related damages or losses, FEMA may be able to help, but they need to have your most up-to-date information."
Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property must also be submitted by Tuesday, Dec. 5.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must complete and return them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
The SBA offers disaster loans up to $200,000 to repair disaster-damaged primary residences. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to replace damaged personal property such as furniture and clothing. Loans to businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations up to $1.5 million are available to repair or replace damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, supplies, and inventory. For information on SBA low-interest loans, residents and businesses in the eligible counties should call 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired.
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.