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30 Minutes Can Make a Difference in Your Recovery

Release date: 
July 1, 2011
Release Number: 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In about half an hour, survivors of the recent tornadoes in Alabama can make a big difference in their recovery by applying for a low-interest loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The process isn’t hard at all. By returning the SBA loan application, homeowners may be eligible for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their storm-damaged home. Homeowners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000 for replacement of personal property.

The form is simple. It asks for your name, contact information, Social Security number, mailing address, address of damaged property, income and assets, monthly housing cost, insurance information, debts and credit references. The language is clear and the application is not long.

Survivors can pick up a loan application at a disaster recovery center, download one at or fill out an application online at

If an applicant has a question, help is available by calling SBA Customer Service at
800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339. Advice is also available by emailing

If SBA finds the applicant eligible for a loan, there is no obligation to accept it. But filling out the application, whether or not a loan is offered, opens the door to other possible assistance, including additional federal grant funds.

So it’s worth spending a few minutes to ensure that the widest possible array of benefits is available.

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). 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.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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