BISMARCK, N.D. — Farmers and ranchers in North Dakota may be helped by disaster assistance programs available to people affected by the recent flooding in Barnes, Benson, Burleigh, McHenry, Morton, Ramsey, Renville, Richland, and Ward Counties.
This federal assistance is offered through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and should not be confused with assistance programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Assistance could come in the form of grants or low-interest loans. Some of those programs from FEMA are:
- Farmers and ranchers could be eligible for Individual Assistance (IA) for their primary residence; IA provides grants for essential home repairs, temporary disaster housing, and other serious, disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
- Owners of flood-damaged residential wells and septic systems may receive money to pump a septic tank, perform required repairs or even replace them if the damage is permanent. Homeowners with private wells that were damaged may be eligible for assistance if the well is their sole source of water.
- Grants could be available for repair or replacement of privately-owned roads or bridges that provide the sole access to a primary residence.
- State and federal officials encourage those affected by the disaster to register for assistance immediately by calling: 800-621-3362 (also applies for VRS and 711-Relay users) or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free line is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT. Individuals may also register for disaster assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov or with a smart phone at m.fema.gov.
Among programs available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are:
- Farmers and ranchers could be eligible for low-interest disaster loans for repair of their primary residence (even if it is located on a farm or ranch) and, in some cases, for the privately-owned road leading to it.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be available to help small agricultural cooperatives, most private nonprofit organizations, and small, non-agricultural businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the flooding.
- Low-interest disaster loans could be available for non-agricultural businesses operated on a farm or ranch, as long as financial records of the business are separate from the agricultural enterprise.
- For more information, call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339) or go online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.