SANTA FE, N.M. -- More than five million dollars in awards and loans have been approved since the Presidential disaster declaration was issued for New Mexico on August 30, 2006, according to figures released today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New Mexico Office of Emergency Management.
New Mexico residents and business owners in Dona Ana and Otero counties who sustained damage from the severe storms and flooding between July 26 and Sept. 18, 2006 have only two weeks left to apply for disaster assistance. The close of business on October 30 is the last day applications will be taken for individual assistance.
"Don't assume you aren't eligible for assistance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tony Russell. "We don't want to miss anyone who has been affected by these weather events who may need help in the recovery process."
The following is an update of recovery activities at close of business Sunday October 15:
- 1,310 registrations have been received.
- 1,564 applicants have visited one of two Disaster Recovery Centers in Hatch and Alamogordo.
- Disaster awards totaling $1.5 million have been disbursed for the Individuals and Household Program.
- 19 counties are eligible to apply for the Public Assistance Program to assist with infrastructure losses. To date, 114 requests for public assistance have been received and a total of $1.8 million has been obligated to the state.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $2.2 million in low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the flooding.
Russell also urges residents affected by the storms and floods, who receive a loan application from the SBA should take the time to fill it out ? even if they don't want a loan.
Many of the people who apply for assistance will receive a packet containing the SBA loan application within a few days after applying.
"The loan application provides necessary information for determining the appropriate assistance for that applicant. If the SBA is unable to offer a loan, the individual then may be referred to other available disaster assistance," said Russell.
FEMA disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate you for your entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under your insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of low-interest disaster loans.
Disaster Recovery Center
The Disaster Recovery Center in Hatch and the SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Dona Ana will remain open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice to provide information to residents and business owners who suffered damages caused by the severe storms and flooding between July 26 and September 18, 2006. The DRC in Hatch is located at 133 N. Franklin and the Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Alamogordo is on 1011 10 th Street.
Application and Helpline Numbers Continue to Operate
Individuals, families and business owners who suffered losses in the declared counties (Dona Ana and Otero) can still apply for assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairment. These numbers are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Multilingual operators are available to take calls. Individuals with Internet access have the option to apply on FEMA's website at www.fema.gov, where valuable recovery information is also available.
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