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Key to rebuilding Alabama is low-interest disaster loans

Release date: 
May 16, 2011
Release Number: 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Now that immediate needs are being met, the focus is shifting to long term recovery in the aftermath of April’s tornadoes.

Impacted residents are now dealing with issues from how to pay mortgages when no house remains, to replacing lost personal property.

The road to recovery will be long for many, but the journey has begun. Getting there will require help from many resources, including the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA can help homeowners, renters, and businesses:

  • Replace damaged homes and businesses
  • Replace clothes, furniture and vehicles
  • Replace inventory, machinery and equipment for businesses and certain nonprofits
  • Provide working capital for small businesses and private non-profits

SBA can offer loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate, and $40,000 to repair or replace personal property damages, including automobiles. The interest rate of disaster loans for homeowners and renters may be as low as 2.563 percent, with terms up to 30 years. This makes repayment affordable.

FEMA addresses immediate needs of disaster survivors, but it is low-interest disaster loans from the SBA that provide the greater amount of assistance.

The SBA has already approved more than $2 million to help with long term recovery.

Those who received damages to their homes or businesses need to complete and return the low-interest disaster loan application they received after registering with FEMA. While they’re not required to take out the loan the application process is a key to receiving other assistance. Homeowners and renters determined as unable to afford a loan are referred back to FEMA for consideration of getting a new refrigerator, furnishings and other home essentials.

Loans to business owners affected by the April tornadoes may be up to $2 million, with interest rates as low as 4 percent. These loans may pay for the repairs, replacement of property as well as working capital.

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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.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

For more information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit or

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Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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