FINDLAY, Ohio -- The deadline to register for disaster assistance is just one month away.
Ohioans affected by the August storms and flooding in Allen, Crawford, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam, Richland, Seneca and Wyandot counties have until Oct. 26, 2007, to apply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA).
"You should register if you had damage to your home or property, even if you have insurance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Jesse Munoz of FEMA. "Registration keeps open the possibility of federal assistance in case your insurance doesn't cover your losses or you have other unmet disaster-related needs."
Applicants are urged to register for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. any day of the week. The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 for those who are speech or hearing impaired. Applicants also can register online at www.fema.gov.
"Don't wait. Register with FEMA if you haven't, and complete your SBA application if you have received one," said State Coordinating Officer and Executive Director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency Nancy Dragani. "Don't risk losing your eligibility."
To date $23.3 million in Ohio disaster assistance has been approved. This includes $13 million in housing grants, $2.5 million in other needs assistance and $7.9 million in SBA low-interest disaster loans.
Disaster loans from the SBA are not just for small businesses. The SBA is the primary source of federal funds for long-term disaster recovery for homeowners, renters, non-farm businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations. In fact, the majority of SBA disaster loans are made to homeowners and renters.
SBA loan amounts are based on the actual cost of repairing or rebuilding a damaged home or business and replacing damaged personal property, minus any insurance reimbursements or benefits from other agencies or organizations for the same loss.
Those affected by a disaster do not have to wait for their insurance settlement before applying for an SBA loan. In most cases if an applicant does not qualify for an SBA loan, their assistance request is forwarded to FEMA for further review of any unmet needs.
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.