WARWICK, R.I. -- Rhode Island homeowners, renters and businesses who sustained damage or loss from the March flooding have only two weeks left to apply for disaster assistance, according to state and federal officials.
May 28, 2010, is the last day applications will be accepted for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance program. Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration for disaster-related losses to real and personal property also must be submitted by that date.
In order to increase the reach of the FEMA ‘Tell Your Neighbor’ registration campaign, FEMA’s Community Relations specialists and SBA are working to enable Rhode Islanders to complete an SBA application online at any public library at: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
Although FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers, which have been open since the major disaster declaration, will close Friday, May 14, officials want to make sure residents understand assistance from both FEMA and the SBA will still be available to Rhode Islanders.
Residents still will be able to talk to FEMA and SBA representatives at four SBA Disaster Loan Outreach centers opening Saturday, May 15. FEMA will still have a representative at each of the four SBA outreach centers. The centers will be located at:
South County Community Action Agency
34 Pond St.
Westerly, R.I. 02891
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m
West Warwick Senior & Community Center
145 Washington St
West Warwick, RI 02893
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
North Providence Public Library
1810 Mineral Spring Avenue
North Providence, RI 02904
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, 11a.m. to 4 p.m.
Union Fire Station
131 ASA Pond Road
Wakefield, RI 02879
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"We're not going anywhere," said Federal Coordinating Officer Craig A. Gilbert. "If you have questions or need to register for assistance, help is just a phone call or a mouse-click away."
Since announcing the ‘Tell Your Neighbor’ campaign, the SBA has seen a 20 percent increase in the number of loan applications returned. The campaign also is credited with expediting the loan approval process that has more than doubled the amount of SBA assistance to over $24 million in approved loans.
After the application deadline, FEMA’s toll-free phone lines still will be available to assist those who have already registered. People who have questions about the disaster assistance programs or questions about the status of their previously filed applications should continue to use FEMA’s toll-free number.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not applied to do so as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585. People also can register online for disaster assistance at www.fema.gov.
To date, more than 24,000 individuals have applied for disaster assistance in Rhode Island. So far, FEMA and the SBA have approved more than $54 million in disaster funds for people affected by the disaster.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.