FINDLAY, Ohio -- Some private nonprofit agencies affected by the August floods and storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance. They include those that provide the public with education, utility services, irrigation, emergency aid, medical aid, rehabilitation, custodial care (such as for the aged and disabled), and other essential services of a governmental nature.
Below is a summary of what kinds of aid may be available through what the Federal Emergency Management Agency terms its "Public Assistance" program.
Basic eligibility requirements for private nonprofits:
Have a 501(c) designation, a state tax-exempt form, and bylaws.
Have facilities or offer services in one of the seven counties designated for Public Assistance aid: Allen, Crawford, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam, Richland and Wyandot.
Have damages or expenses that were caused by the flooding and severe storms between August 20 and August 28.
Kinds of assistance that may be available to eligible nonprofits:
For all eligible nonprofits, grants from FEMA may be available for 75 percent of the cost of emergency services and debris removal related to the disaster.
For damaged nonprofits that provide critical services, grants from FEMA may be available for 75 percent of the cost of returning to predisaster condition. "Critical services" include power, water (including water for irrigation if it serves the general public, sewer, wastewater treatment, communications and emergency medical care.
For damaged nonprofits that are not considered critical, low-interest loans to repair the damage may be available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). They can contact the SBA by going to a Disaster Recovery Center, an SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center, or the SBA Business Center at the rear entrance to Commercial Savings Bank, 201 East Lincoln Street in Findlay, 44840; or by calling 1-800-659-2955, or by going online to www.sba.gov. If they are declined for an SBA loan or the loan does not cover all eligible expenses, they can re-apply for a FEMA grant.
All private nonprofits that might want aid from FEMA and/or the SBA are encouraged to file a notice of their interest soon. The forms are called Requests for Public Assistance, and the deadline is October 11. They are available through local emergency managers.
Agencies with questions are encouraged to call their local emergency manager.
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.