TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The clock is ticking for North Floridians who had property damage or other losses as a result of the intense storms and flooding that swamped wide areas of the region from mid-March through mid-May. Only two weeks remain to register for federal-state disaster assistance.
June 29 is the deadline to apply for a wide range of federal disaster assistance programs.
The April 21 Presidential disaster declaration covers 17 counties: Calhoun, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington counties.
Recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Florida's State Emergency Response Team (SERT) urge anyone, including those still waiting for insurance settlements or other documentation, to register as soon as possible.
Registration for individuals is easy. Apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling toll-free 800-621-FEMA (3362). For the speech- or hearing-impaired the number is (TTY) 800-462-7585. Multilingual specialists are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
The FEMA toll-free numbers also offer a Helpline option where applicants may ask questions about disaster assistance programs, the status of their previously filed applications, or request an appeal.
June 29 is also the deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses of any size to return applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for loans to cover disaster-related damages to real and personal property.
Officials urge everyone who has received an SBA application after registering with FEMA to complete the form and return it even if they are not seeking a loan. The SBA application must be filed by June 29 to be considered for some types of FEMA aid.
Information about SBA programs is available by calling 800-659-2955 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday or online 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.