BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Vermonters in Caledonia and Washington counties have less than two weeks to apply for federal disaster aid for the flooding which occurred May 26th to May 27th.
Sept. 6th is the deadline to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for housing assistance and grants and with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for low-interest loans.
To date, nearly 700 Vermont individuals and families in Caledonia and Washington counties have registered with FEMA and $1.4 million has been approved for assistance. Of that total, $948,288 has been approved for housing repairs and $118,789 for other needs, such as replacing damaged personal property. The SBA has approved over $400,000 in low-interest disaster loans.
Different methods of registering include: www.DisasterAssistance.gov or FEMA's mobile website, m.fema.gov. The website helps 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 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov or completed on-line at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
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.