INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Dec. 5 deadline to apply for disaster assistance is drawing near for Indiana residents affected by September’s severe storms and flooding, say officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
To date, more than $14.1 million in disaster assistance has been approved for Indiana residents. Those who suffered losses have a variety of assistance programs available to them to help in their recovery. Individual Assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are also available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance. Grants do not have to be repaid, but loans from the SBA must be repaid.
To be considered for such aid, individuals must have sustained losses or damage from the severe storms and flooding that occurred Sept. 12 - 14 and reside in one of the disaster-designated counties of Lake, Vanderburgh or Warrick. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The first step in applying for aid is to contact FEMA by logging on to www.fema.gov or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with a speech or hearing impairment. Both lines are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. After applying, to ask questions about the status of an application or assistance received, disaster victims should call the Helpline at the same numbers. For individuals who have already applied, their cases will continue to be processed, but no new telephone or online applications will be accepted after the deadline.
The following is a summary of disaster recovery activities, as of close of business Nov. 9.
- A total of 5,105 Indiana residents have applied for federal disaster assistance, including 4,242 in Lake, 833 in Vanderburgh and 30 in Warrick counties.
- A total of $8,490,723 in housing grants has been approved. Disaster housing assistance comes in the form of grants for temporary housing needs and for homeowners to make essential repairs.
- A total of $699,233 in Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grants has been approved. ONA provides for uninsured or under-insured disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs, which may include grants for medical, dental, personal property, transportation and other expenses that FEMA approves.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 206 low-interest disaster loans, totaling $4,992,600, and issued 3,554 applications to homeowners and renters and 336 to businesses.
- So far, 4,629 inspections have been completed by trained FEMA housing inspectors.
- Disaster Recovery Centers in the affected areas have served 1,634 residents, providing information about disaster assistance, Internal Revenue Service (tax) issues, mental health counseling, ways to reduce damages from future storms and completing SBA disaster loan applications.
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.
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...