HELENA, Mont. -- Montanans who suffered losses or damages as a result of storms and flooding this spring have only three weeks to register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Disaster assistance is available to those who had damages or losses as a result of flooding that occurred between April 4 and July 22 in 31 Montana counties and four reservations.
Residents affected by flooding must apply for assistance by September 26.
Disaster Assistance from FEMA covers emergency home repair, temporary disaster housing, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or assistance programs. For those insured, FEMA may help pay for basic needs not covered by insurance.
Over 2,300 households have already registered and most have received money. Homeowners, renters and businesses, whether insured or not, are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by going online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Registration by mobile device is also available at m.fema.gov. Multilingual registration can be done by phone. If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 TTY directly.
When registering for FEMA by phone or online, have the following information ready:
- The address of the affected property;
- A brief description of the damage;
- A current mailing address;
- Social Security number;
- Insurance information, including policy numbers;
- A contact number or alternate such as a cell phone or work number.
Assistance may still be available to homeowners who have already cleaned up and made repairs.
Registering with FEMA must be done directly. Filing damage reports with state or county emergency managers or voluntary agencies does not start the federal disaster assistance process.
Homeowners and renters who had damages and losses in these counties and reservations may be eligible for assistance: Blaine, Big Horn, Blackfeet Reservation, Broadwater, Carbon, Carter, Cascade, Chouteau, Crow Reservation, Custer, Fallon, Fergus, Flathead, Fort Belknap Reservation, Fort Peck Reservation, Garfield, Golden Valley, Hill, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Madison, Missoula, Musselshell, Park, Petroleum, Phillips, Pondera, Powell, Rosebud, Sweet Grass, Valley, Toole, Wibaux and Yellowstone.
In addition to FEMA assistance, disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners and renters to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including automobiles.
Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million from the SBA to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Interest rates can be as low as 2.5630-percent for homeowners and renters, 4-percent for businesses, and 3-percent for private, nonprofit organizations. SBA loan applications are due by September 26.
No one is required to borrow money, but those who apply may be eligible for additional FEMA grants if they are not approved for an SBA loan. FEMA and SBA have approved grants and loans totaling more than $5 million to eligible Montanans.
For questions about disaster assistance, visit one of the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) which are located throughout the state, or call 1-800-621-3362. To locate a DRC, go 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 organizati...