SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- With just a week remaining to register with FEMA for disaster assistance, more than $22.5 million in FEMA grants and U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans have been approved to assist South Dakota residents who suffered damages from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred May 4-5, 2007.
The last day to apply for disaster assistance is Monday, July 23. Residents and business owners living or working in one of the 11 disaster-declared counties who sustained damage or loss may register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired, or on-line at www.fema.gov. Phone lines will be available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CDT), Monday through Saturday.
"We want people to understand that this is merely an application deadline," said Justin Dombrowski, federal coordinating officer. "For individuals who have already applied, their cases will continue to be processed, but applications will not be accepted after the July 23 deadline."
After applying, registrants may receive a loan application from SBA. Whether interested in a loan or not, applicants must at least complete the loan package and return it to SBA by the July 23 deadline. The completed loan application is the key to being considered for several assistance programs. If the completed application is not returned, disaster victims may be eliminating themselves from any possible additional grants from FEMA and the state to meet other needs.
Low-interest disaster loans from SBA are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations. For additional information call the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, or visit SBA's website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
State assistance is available by calling South Dakota's help line at 1-866-737-8998 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This number can also be used to request face-to-face assistance with the disaster aid registration process.
The 11 South Dakota counties that have been declared eligible for Individual Assistance are Beadle, Brown, Clark, Davison, Hanson, Hutchinson, Marshall, Miner, Sanborn, Spink and Yankton.
Federal, state, local and voluntary agencies are working in partnership to help South Dakota residents in the disaster recovery process. The following is an update of their activities as of close of business Friday, July 13:
4,935 South Dakotans have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance.
$5.8 million has been awarded in housing assistance grants.
$507,000 for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) has been approved.
The state of South Dakota has provided $720,000 in assistance for food, clothing, and medicine.
SBA has approved over $15 million in low-interest loans to South Dakota residents and businesses.
$608,722 has been obligated for 360 Public Assistance projects.
4,463 home inspections have been completed.
Community relations representatives have visited 6,688 households, 1,309 businesses, and 858 local community organizations.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.