BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – People in the 43 Alabama counties designated for individual assistance after the recent storms and tornadoes have 21 more days to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The new deadline to apply for help is Monday, July 18.
“Registrations continue to flow in, so three more weeks will give survivors time to determine the full extent of their damage and assess their losses against insurance settlements,” said Jeff Byard, state coordinating officer of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. “Any survivors who had damages or losses from the disaster should register with FEMA. And if you received an SBA loan application, it’s important to fill it out and return it promptly.”
Most federal assistance for survivors is in the form of low-interest disaster loans from SBA. While survivors are not obligated to accept a loan, the applications may open the door to other financial assistance.
An SBA application takes little time to complete, but has a lot to offer. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace their disaster-damaged or destroyed primary residence. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property, including automobiles.
Businesses of any size and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.
FEMA’s housing assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants for medical, dental, and funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be considered for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. Applicants who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be eligible to receive Other Needs Assistance grants for these items.
Anyone who needs to register can call FEMA’s toll-free helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and multilingual assistance is available. Online registration is available at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through a smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov.
For more information about SBA low-interest disaster loans, call 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 TTY). SBA loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov, or survivors can visit SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to apply online.
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.