MERRILLVILLE, Ind. -- More than $2 million in federal grants has been approved for individuals and families in Lake County affected by the August storms and flooding, said officials with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Of the more than $2 million approved under FEMA's Individuals and Households Program, more than $1.8 million was approved in Housing Assistance grants. Also, more than $327,000 was approved for Other Needs Assistance grants to help with disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other organizations.
To date, FEMA has received 2,445 applications for aid from Lake County.
Anyone affected by the disaster should apply for assistance immediately by calling, toll-free, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. The helpline will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 as well as Jan. 1. Internet registration will be available at www.fema.gov without interruption.
Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for home repair, temporary housing, uninsurable items and other serious disaster-related needs.
To date, $77,500 in disaster assistance loans has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These low-interest disaster loans are available for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations. Individuals with SBA questions may visit an SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) or call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339 or visit SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Completing an SBA application is a necessary step to be considered for some forms of disaster aid, including possible additional grant assistance.
FEMA personnel will also be present at the DLOC to answer questions. Applicants may also call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
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.