NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Sept. 15, 2010 presidential disaster declaration for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) public assistance funding to restore infrastructure damaged in the August floods applies only to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations in the 10 declared Tennessee counties. Those counties are Clay, Cocke, Hardin, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith and Wayne.
Private non-profit organizations, facilities and services must meet additional requirements beyond those that apply to governmental applicants. Eligible non-profits are those that provide educational, utility, irrigation, emergency, medical, rehabilitation, custodial care and other essential services.
Non-profits providing critical services – such as power, water, sewer, wastewater treatment, communication, educational services and emergency medical care – may apply directly to FEMA for public assistance grants. Grant applicants will need to attend an applicant briefing in their county to complete an application for public assistance. Applicants should contact their local emergency manager to find out when their applicant briefing will be.
All other non-profits must first apply to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a disaster loan. If SBA loans are denied or do not cover all eligible damage, applicants may re-apply for FEMA assistance.
Organizations may borrow up to $2 million in SBA loans to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Interest rates are as low as 3 percent, with terms up to 30 years.
The SBA also offers economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs, such as ongoing operating expenses, to non-profits of all sizes. Economic injury loans are available in the 10 disaster-declared counties, whether or not any physical property damage was sustained.
Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the speech and hearing impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. Applicants may also send an email to email@example.com or download a loan application from www.sba.gov.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage sustained in the Aug. 17 thru Aug. 21 flooding in Tennessee is Nov. 15, 2010. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 15, 2011.
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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.