SAN JUAN, PR -- After applying for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), many Hurricane Irene survivors may receive a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). They must complete and submit this loan application without delay, to further the federal aid process. If determined that a homeowner or renter cannot afford a loan, the applicant will be referred to other assistance programs available.
"Submitting your complete SBA application is a vital step in the disaster assistance process," explained Federal Coordinating Officer, Justo Hernández. "The completed loan application provides necessary information to determine the appropriate aid for each applicant. If you throw the loan packet away, you are cancelling the assistance process."
The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations of all sizes to cover the cost of repairing or replacing lost or damaged structures and personal property, including economic injury losses for businesses and private non-profits. SBA loan amounts and terms are determined on an individual basis. The disaster assistance process cannot continue until survivors return their SBA loan application.
Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damages to their primary residence. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace damages to personal property. Business owners can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace real-estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA may provide small businesses and private non-profits with an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to help cover operating expenses to recover from the economic injury due to a disaster.
Disaster survivors may register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at www.Disasterassistance.gov, www.fema.gov or with the mobile phone application m.fema.gov. Those with speech or hearing disability may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.
SBA applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure Web site at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at 1 (800) 659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals may call 1(800) 877-8339
We are in the hurricane season's peak, and emergency preparedness should be a priority for every community member. To learn on emergency preparedness, how to create an emergency family plan and kit, residents may visit www.ready.gov.
FEMA's mission 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.