HELENA, Mont. -- A state and federal Disaster Recovery Center will be opening in Kalispell to assist individuals, households and businesses affected by storms and flooding this spring. Residents in Flathead County and the Blackfeet Reservation are eligible for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The center opens officially at 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 1 and will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through September 8, but closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday for Labor Day. The center is staffed by disaster recovery specialists who can provide information and answer questions about flood-related assistance.
The Disaster Recovery Center is located at:
Flathead County Office of Emergency Services
625 Timberwolf Parkway (off Stillwater Rd)
"Governor Schweitzer urges everyone who had flooding to call and register with FEMA or go to the recovery center if you need additional help," Ed Tinsley, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services Administrator said. "Do not let this opportunity to receive assistance pass you by. We don't want you to end up with uncompensated expenses."
Homeowners, renters and businesses affected by flooding are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 or going online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Registration by mobile device is also available at m.fema.gov. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss can call 800-462-7585 (TTY). Multilingual registration can be done by phone. Registration with FEMA must be done directly and cannot be done through county offices.
"Disaster Recovery Centers are a great resource to residents who have questions after they register," advised FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Doug Mayne. "Initial registration by phone or online is best done where individuals have access to personal and financial documents."
FEMA provides temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation, medical and dental costs, and funeral and burial expenses. By registering, individuals will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
SBA representatives are at the disaster centers to answer any questions about the SBA's low-interest disaster loan program for homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations of all sizes. These loans are to repair or replace real estate and/or personal property damaged by the storms and flooding. No one is obligated to accept a loan from the SBA, but loans can be accepted up to six months after approval if damage appears later.
To locate the nearest Disaster Recovery Center, go online to www.fema.gov.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs and rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1-800-977-8339).
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.