LITTLE ROCK, Ark -Just two weeks remain before the June 26 deadline to register for assistance for Arkansans affected by the severe storms and tornadoes that occurred on April 9. Officials with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urge anyone affected to make sure they have applied for all the federal assistance for which they may be eligible.
Individuals and business owners must have filed an application with FEMA by June 26, 2009 to be eligible for the variety of individual assistance programs made available to homeowners, renters and business owners in Ashley, Miller, Polk and Sevier counties.
To apply for disaster assistance, call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. Phone lines are open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight. An application also may be made online at www.fema.gov.
In a disaster declaration, the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) is the primary source of financial assistance. If you have received an SBA loan application, you must complete and return it to be considered for an SBA disaster loan or other grants and programs. If you do not qualify for an SBA disaster loan, you will be referred to other federal or state assistance programs, such as FEMA's Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program, which may cover essential disaster-related costs such as clothing, furniture, appliances, transportation and medical expenses.
Applicants will not be considered for ONA until they have applied to and been denied by SBA. You can get help by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or on-line at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.