INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Four weeks remain for Indiana residents affected by recent severe storms and flooding to register for federal disaster assistance. Monday, Nov. 24, is the deadline to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Four Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) will continue to assist residents through Friday, with some changes taking effect after that.
?Residents who suffered damage due to the disaster should register today,? said Stephen M. DeBlasio, Sr., FEMA's head of Indiana recovery operations. ?A variety of help is available, but the disaster-assistance process can only begin once residents register with FEMA.?
To register, affected residents can go online at any time to www.fema.gov. Or they can call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or at TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairments. Lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
FEMA Individual Assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses such as medical care and damage to personal property. Residents in 20 Indiana counties have been made eligible for Individual Assistance programs related to the severe storms and flooding from Sept. 12 through Oct. 6. Those counties are Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Knox, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Martin, Perry, Pike, Porter, Scott, Spencer, Switzerland and Washington.
In addition to FEMA assistance, low-interest disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations.
Disaster loans can cover uncompensated losses for personal contents up to $40,000 for both homeowners and renters, and up to $200,000 for homeowners for physical damage to their primary residence. The SBA also provides low-interest loans up to $2 million for uncompensated physical losses suffered by businesses and private non-profit organizations. Businesses may also be eligible for working-capital loans. The combination of the two business loans cannot exceed $2 million.
Residents who receive an SBA disaster loan application in the mail after applying with FEMA should be sure to complete the application, even if they aren't sure they want a loan. Completing the SBA application is an important step in being considered for FEMA's Other Needs Assistance program, which covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
The first step toward receiving disaster assistance from FEMA or the SBA is to register with FEMA.
Recovery Center Locations and Schedules
Four DRCs are open this week, offering face-to-face assistance to affected residents. At the centers, residents can speak with recovery specialists, check on the status of applications for assistance and receive help filling out SBA disaster loan applications.
Two DRCs will cease operations after doing business Friday, Oct. 31; one of these will transition to an SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) effective next week, joining one DLOC already in operation. DLOCs offer assistance with the SBA disaster loan process; specialists there can answer program questions, assist applicants with filling out forms, and close loans.
Locations, hours and transition information are outlined below:
Lake County DRC
Manuszczak Appliance Store, 9450 Calumet Ave., Munster 46321
Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday until further notice
Lake County DRC
Ivy Tech Community College, 1440 E. 35th Ave., Gary 46409
Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Satu...