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Tips To Speed Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
August 16, 2010
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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Many Kentuckians have taken the first steps to seek federal disaster assistance and have begun their recovery effort following the July severe storms and flooding.

Not all of the people who suffered losses in the storms in Pike, Carter, and Lewis counties have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and storm survivors in the Rowan, Mason and Madison are just beginning the process.

“Recovery in Kentucky will be expedited if all disaster survivors seek assistance from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration,” said Kentucky Division of Emergency Management Director John W. Heltzel. He continued, “Folks need to register as soon as possible to get the recovery process started.”

Homeowners, renters, and businesses who had damages and losses as a result of the storms July 17-30 can start the process by registering online at or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585

When registering with FEMA, have key information ready such as your current address; the address of the damaged property; current phone information; insurance information, if any; and your Social Security number.

It is necessary to register even if you are insured. Your insurance coverage may not cover everything. FEMA disaster assistance can help you get back on your feet but, by law, the assistance cannot duplicate insurance coverage.

Disaster assistance may help with a wide range of uninsured or underinsured losses. Along with rental assistance and assistance for home repairs, disaster-related losses may include damaged or lost personal property that may be anything from a wheelchair to a major appliance.

Remember to stay in touch and keep appointments after you have registered for disaster assistance. A FEMA inspector will make an appointment to visit your home. Be at the damaged property for the visit, and call if you need to change the appointment.

Be sure to return all forms promptly. After registering, homeowners and renters may receive a loan application by mail from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Fill out and return the application as soon as possible.  Visit a Disaster Recovery Center for SBA assistance. It is an important step to complete the loan application and return it even if you are not interested in a loan.

You are not obligated to accept an SBA loan, but returning the SBA application is a necessary step to being considered for some types of disaster assistance from FEMA. Homeowners and renters who are not approved for a loan may be referred back to FEMA.

FEMA assistance, in the form of a grant, does not have to be repaid. SBA federal disaster loans used to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property are offered at low-interest rates to those who qualify. Some people who are not eligible for federal disaster assistance programs may still get help from voluntary agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Likewise, businesses that received damage as a result of the July storms may be eligible for low-interest loans from the SBA, but are not eligible for a grant.

After registering, you can visit a Disaster Recovery Center to meet in-person with recovery specialists. If you have disaster aid questions, need help filling out an SBA loan, want to check on the status of your application, or need information on how to rebuild a flood damaged home, you can talk with specialists.

Also remember, registering with voluntary agencies does not register you with FEMA.

Be a good neighbor.  If you know someone affected by the storms, and they haven’t registered, urge them to take action today. 

Additional information, photos and links for this and other open disasters can be found at www.k...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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