TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The disaster recovery centers in Lake City and Live Oak will become disaster loan outreach centers operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration Monday, Aug. 27, to assist Tropical Storm Debby survivors.
Homeowners, renters and business owners who visit the center may talk with SBA representatives about low-interest disaster loans, get help filling out loan applications and submit completed applications. Federal Emergency Management Agency staff will also be there to answer questions about federal disaster assistance.
A disaster recovery center typically meets the more immediate concerns of storm survivors, while a disaster loan outreach center focuses on funds needed for long-term rebuilding and recovery.
Disaster recovery center hours will remain 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Saturday, Aug. 25. They will be closed this Sunday.
The disaster recovery centers will become disaster loan outreach centers on Monday, Aug. 27, and remain at the Westfield Shopping Center, 484 S.W. Commerce Drive in Lake City and Suwannee Coliseum Exhibition No. 2, 1302 11th St. SW in Live Oak. The hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.
Completing and submitting SBA disaster loan applications is important because it may pave the way for additional disaster assistance. There are valid reasons for applying, even if you think you won’t need or qualify for a loan.
- SBA can offer temporary loans to help cover immediate expenses until insurance is settled.
- SBA can offer loans with terms of up to 30 years and interest rates as low as 1.938 percent.
- SBA disaster loans can be used by a homeowner to repair or replace their primary residence.
- Homeowners and renters can replace damaged household contents and vehicles with SBA disaster loans.
- Business owners can apply to SBA for disaster loans for physical damages or economic losses.
Homeowners, renters and businesses may apply for an SBA loan online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela; or obtain information on SBA disaster loan applications by calling 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and use a TTY) or online at www.sba.gov.
Help is always available by calling FEMA’s toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and assistance is available in most languages. Survivors who are deaf or hard of hearing and use a TTY can call 800-462-7585.
Sign up for Tropical Storm Debby recovery updates via email by going to www.fema.gov/Disaster/4068 and clicking the subscription link. It’s a simple process that only requires a valid email address. During signup, subscribers can choose to receive updates immediately, daily or weekly.
For more information on Florida’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or www.floridadisaster.org. On Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/FloridaSERT. To receive Twitter updates: www.twitter.com/FLSERT or www.twitter.com/femaregion4.
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.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.