INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Tuesday, May 8, is the last day to apply for federal storm assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security encourage Hoosiers to register with FEMA as soon as possible to help recover from severe storms that occurred Feb. 29 through March 3 in Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties.
Since those counties were designated eligible for federal disaster assistance on March 9, more than 1,400 storm-impacted Hoosiers have registered with FEMA.
Key points to keep in mind about registering for federal assistance include:
- Your FEMA registration cannot be accepted after the May 8 deadline.
- Your paperwork is not required by May 8. You can register by May 8 and follow up with paperwork later.
- Register even if you have insurance.
- If you receive a “no decision” letter from FEMA, do not assume you won't qualify for assistance. Read the letter carefully to determine if your application may have been paused because FEMA requires your insurance information.
- After receiving an insurance settlement, be sure to report the details of the settlement to FEMA.
- Although FEMA will not duplicate insurance benefits, expenses that are not covered by insurance might be covered by federal grants after the claim has been paid.
- May 8 is the last day to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
- Individuals are not required to accept an SBA loan, even if they qualify for one.
- Partial loans are an option. Individuals may opt to take a loan of up to $14,000, which requires no collateral.
- SBA loans are not just for businesses; they are designated to fund the recovery process of renters and homeowners as well. SBA disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace primary residences. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed by the severe weather.
- Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for a combination of property damage or economic injury, or for working capital even if no physical damage is sustained.
- By not returning the SBA loan packet, homeowners or renters could possibly miss out on other forms of FEMA assistance, including certain FEMA grants.
Hoosiers may register or check the status of their application by calling the telephone registration and help line, (800) 621-FEMA (3362). For speech-or hearing-impaired applicants, the TTY number is (800) 462-7585 and Video Relay Service may be accessed at (800) 621-3362. These lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. To register online, visit www.fema.gov or www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Registration is possible by smart phone or tablet at m.fema.gov.
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.