NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Louisiana residents and business owners in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Martin parishes who were affected by the Feb. 12 and 13 severe storms and tornadoes have only three weeks to apply for disaster assistance, said officials at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
April 24, 2007 is the last day applications will be accepted for homeowners, renters and business owners. Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not applied to do so as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) , or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. Individuals may also register for disaster assistance online at www.fema.gov .
Individuals and business owners should mail their completed SBA disaster loan applications to 14925 Kingsport Rd. , Fort Worth , TX 76155 by the April 24 deadline. Individuals may contact SBA by calling 800-659-2955 or by visiting SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance . Hearing impaired individuals may call 800-877-8339.
After the application deadline, FEMA's toll-free phone lines will still be available to assist those who have already registered. Applicants who have questions about the disaster assistance programs or questions about the status of their previously filed applications should continue to use FEMA's toll-free number.
To date, 1,181 individuals have applied for disaster assistance in Louisiana . More than $4.3 million in disaster funds have been approved for individuals and businesses impacted by the disaster, including nearly $3.7 million in low-interest disaster loans from SBA.
SBA is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or repairing disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror .