ALBANY, N.Y. -- Only one week remains for homeowners, renters and business owners in Broome and Chenango counties who had damage from the November 16 and 17 severe storms to register for disaster assistance.
The deadline to call and register for disaster assistance is February 20.
Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property and businesses of all sizes must also be submitted by that date. SBA officials encourage anyone who has received a disaster loan application to turn it in as soon as possible. Failure to complete and return your SBA loan application will stop consideration for other assistance programs, including additional grants.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) temporary housing assistance and FEMA- New York State grants for medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, an applicant must complete an SBA loan application to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
To date, $4.11 million has been approved for 1,212 individuals and businesses impacted by the disaster including $1.34 million in SBA loans.
Residents are encouraged to register for assistance with the November flooding event even if they registered for the prior flooding in June 2006. It is also important to register with FEMA even if you have registered with a local or national voluntary organization. To be eligible for federal assistance, you must register with FEMA.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not done so to register as soon as possible. There are two easy ways to begin the registration process. Residents may call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired. Both numbers are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Residents can also register online at www.fema.gov.
The SBA Disaster Customer Service Center can be reached at 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the hearing and speech impaired. The hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Applications may be updated and will continue to be processed after the February 20 deadline, but no additional applications for assistance will be accepted. Call center representatives at the numbers listed above are available to answer questions about assistance or check the status of a caller's application.
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.