ATLANTA, Ga. --The upcoming closures of the last two temporary Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC), one on Saturday and the other next Thursday, do not mean an end to storm victims? opportunity to apply for help, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which jointly operate the centers.
Officials continue to encourage anyone with damage from the May tornadoes to register for assistance before the July 22 deadline.
The DRC at Bruce Elementary School, 3660 Houston Avenue, Macon, will close permanently at 6 p.m. Saturday. The one at Bloomfield Middle School, 4375 Bloomfield Drive, Macon, closes permanently at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 19.
?More than 2,800 people have visited one of the 13 DRCs that were jointly opened by FEMA and GEMA, starting on May 24,? said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Jeff Bryant. ?More than 1,800 visits were to the DRCs in hardest hit Bibb County. The number of visits is declining now, which is why FEMA and GEMA have scheduled them for closure.?
At the DRCs people with losses from the May 11-12 tornadoes can meet in person with recovery specialists. Even after the DRCs close, FEMA remains just a phone call away. The toll free number to register or get help with an application is 800-621-FEMA (3362). For those who are speech or hearing impaired, the TTY number is 800-462-7585. The phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT seven days a week. Applicants can also register online at FEMA's Web site, www.fema.gov.
?Anyone who would like to meet in person with a disaster recovery specialist still has a few days to do so,? said Deputy State Coordinating Officer Joe McKinney. ?Whether you meet in person with a recovery specialist or use the phone, the important thing is that you register if you have damage from the May 11-12 tornadoes. Register even if you have insurance, because there may be costs your insurance doesn?t cover that might be eligible for aid. You don?t have to wait for your insurance settlement to register, although you may eventually have to provide FEMA with a settlement letter from your insurance company.?
Meanwhile, specialists remain available to provide in-person help with disaster loan applications at two U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs)?one at the Dry Branch Fire Department in Dry Branch and one at the Old Douglas County Courthouse in Douglasville?that will be open until 6 p.m. Friday. Two other DLOCs are open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. until further notice at the following locations:
Industrial Training Building
West Georgia Tech College
166 Independence Drive
Carrollton, GA 30116
Johnson County High School
150 Trojan Way
Wrightsville, GA 31096
Low-interest disaster loans from the SBA are the primary form of disaster assistance for uninsured losses. These loans are not just for businesses. They are available to homeowners and renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations. For some types of federal grants, it is required for applicants to complete and return the SBA loan application even if they do not want a loan or do not qualify for one.
SBA representatives at the DLOCs offer personal assistance in completing loan applications and can answer questions about SBA?s loan program. SBA help is available as well by calling the SBA Helpline, 800-659-2955 or online at www.sba.gov.
As the result of a presidential disaster declaration on May 23, individuals in Bibb, Carroll, Douglas, Emanuel, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, McIntosh and Twiggs countie...