HELENA, Mont. -- Homeowners, renters and business owners in the 31 Montana counties and four reservations designated to receive disaster assistance have three weeks left to apply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Disaster assistance is available to those affected by severe storms and flooding from April 4 to July 22, 2011.
The new deadline to register for federal disaster assistance is October 11, 2011.
FEMA disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for rent and home repairs, replace personal property and reimburse medical, storage and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or charities. Assistance may also include low-interest federal disaster loans from SBA.
Governor Brian Schweitzer asked FEMA for an extension, especially to those in counties and reservation that were declared later.
"Fifteen counties and one reservation became eligible to receive assistance nearly one month after the original sixteen counties and three reservations were declared," said Governor Schweitzer. "I asked for the extension to be sure everyone has time to register and get their questions answered."
Those with storm losses are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 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.
Registering with FEMA must be done directly. Those who registered with a county disaster emergency services office must also apply with FEMA. Assistance may still be available to homeowners and business owners who have already cleaned up and made repairs. For any questions about registration, call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362./p>
"If you have any kind of loss, register," advised Doug Mayne, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer. "Assistance isn't guaranteed, but if you don't register, it's guaranteed you won't get any assistance."
Most federal assistance comes in the form of disaster loans from the SBA. SBA's low-interest loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations for their uncompensated losses. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace their property damage and/or economic losses. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofit organizations to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.
Apply in person for an SBA disaster loan at any Disaster Recovery Center and receive one-on-one help from an SBA representative. To apply by phone, or for additional information, call SBA at 800-659-2955 or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.; Those who are deaf or hard-of- hearing may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using SBA's Electronic Loan Application (ELA), via SBA's secure Web site https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
FEMA assistance and SBA loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofits in the following counties and reservations: 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, M...