NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- April 7, 2008 at 5 p.m. CST is the deadline in Tennessee for individuals and business owners with damage resulting from the severe storms and tornadoes of February 5 and 6, 2008 to register for disaster assistance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Anyone living in a county declared for Individual Assistance who was impacted by the storms should apply for assistance," said Gracia Szczech, federal coordinating officer.
"Don't miss this deadline because you think your damage is too minor to worry about, or because you have insurance, or because you think someone else may need help more," she said.
Tennesseans who live in Benton, Fayette, Hardin, Haywood, Hickman, Houston, Lewis, Macon, Madison, McNairy, Montgomery, Perry, Shelby, Sumner, Tipton, Trousdale, Wayne, or Williamson counties should call the FEMA registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for persons with special speech or hearing needs, and register for assistance by April 7, 2008. Registration line hours are from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., CST, Monday-Friday. Applicants may also register any time online at www.fema.gov.
The deadline for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations who suffered property damages from the storm to return their loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is also April 7.
Applicants for Individual Assistance should register with FEMA, then contact their insurance company and file necessary claims. Insurance may not always cover all disaster related expenses.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, 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.
All FEMA assistance is subject to eligibility criteria and may vary from disaster to disaster. SBA eligibility criteria are applied to all applicants. Applicants who do not qualify for an SBA loan are reviewed for grant assistance in compliance with the limits established by the state.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, economic status or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or contact your State Office of Equal Rights. If suspicious of any abuse of FEMA programs, please contact the fraud hotline at 800-323-8603.
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.