FEMA Registration and SBA Disaster Loan Application are Keys to Recovery

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Release date: 
September 16, 2011
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ALBANY, N.Y. – Registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and completing a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application are keys for many New Yorkers needing help in recovering from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

“The first step toward disaster recovery is registering with FEMA,” said State Coordinating Officer Andrew X. Feeney. “The next step is completing and returning the SBA loan application. Both businesses and disaster survivors are eligible for SBA loans.”

Homeowners and renters should complete and return the SBA application, even if they don’t want a loan or don’t expect to qualify for one. A completed SBA loan application is needed in order to qualify for state and FEMA grants that cover personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving and storage expenses and other help.

Survivors can register by:

Calling FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585. Multilingual assistance is available by phone. The toll-free line is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week until further notice. Applicants can also resister online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov  or with a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Follow the link to “apply for federal assistance.”

For homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations in impacted counties who qualify, SBA loans can be used to pay for disaster-related damages. People with home-based businesses or rental property who have been affected by the hurricane may also be eligible for SBA loans.

Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property lost in the disaster.

Businesses can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The SBA also provides small business owners and most private nonprofit organizations economic injury disaster loans for ongoing business expenses to recover from the economic impact of a disaster. Economic injury disaster loans are available even if the business didn't sustain physical damages.

Loan amounts and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for businesses. Payment terms as long as 30 years are intended to make the loans affordable.

SBA representatives at all disaster recovery centers will help individuals complete and submit loan applications and answer any questions.

The SBA toll-free number is 1-800-659-2955, TTY 1-800-877-8339. Help is also available by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or online at www.sba.gov/.

Loan applications can be made online at SBA's website: https://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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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