BURLINGTON, Vt. -- If you experienced damage or losses in this spring's floods, you have until August 15 to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
FEMA and the SBA remind homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations in Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties, that they have less than two weeks to apply for assistance for physical damage caused by the severe storms and flooding that occurred from April 23rd to May 9th.
Those who experienced flooding in Caledonia and Washington counties during May 26th and 27th are eligible for FEMA assistance under a separate federal declaration and have until Sept. 15th to register.
"Time is running out for those people who need disaster aid to register," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Craig Gilbert. "We don't want people who are eligible for assistance to miss out on all the help available to them."
To date, more than 1,000 Vermont individuals and families have registered with FEMA, opening the door to potential Individual Assistance grants from FEMA or low-interest loans from the SBA. In short, these grants and loans are designed to help eligible survivors repair their homes or businesses and repair or replace personal property.
More than $2.3 million has been approved in federal assistance -- $1,317,152 has been approved in FEMA housing grants for rental and home repair assistance and $46,561 for Other Needs Assistance, such as replacement of personal property. In addition, the SBA has approved loans totaling $960,200.
There are two ways to register online, either at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or at FEMA's mobile website, m.fema.gov. The website helps to reduce the number of forms you have to fill out, shortens the time it takes to apply for aid and allows you to check the progress of your application online. Almost 30 percent of Vermonters have chosen this fast and convenient method.
You can also call 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585. 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. Multilingual assistance is available.
Anyone who applies for FEMA help may receive a disaster loan application from the SBA. They should fill it out and return it. Although no one is obligated to take a loan, those who fail to complete the SBA application may disqualify themselves for other types of assistance.
Whichever method you choose to register, you are encouraged to act before the deadline expires. Registration keeps every financial assistance option open, especially if insurance shortfalls result in uncompensated loss down the road.
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.
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.
SBA disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 f...