HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials have an important message for homeowners, renters and business owners in the three Alabama counties declared disaster areas due to the late April severe storms and tornadoes: Complete your U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application – Discarding it could be like throwing away money!
Disaster assistance is available to eligible residents in DeKalb, Marshall and Walker counties.
After applicants register with FEMA, they may receive a loan application package from the SBA. The worst mistake people can make is assuming these loans are only for businesses or simply choosing to ignore the application because they do not want to take out a low-interest disaster loan.
Applicants should know:
- Filling out the SBA loan application is a necessary step to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance. Applicants may be eligible for more aid.
- If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for some other disaster aid. Applicants may be awarded assistance to repair or replace destroyed personal items, clothing, vehicles, etc.
- Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Interest rates for residents are as low as 2.75 percent with terms as long as 30 years.
- Businesses and most nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA loans can also be used to recover from economic injury. Interest rates for these loans are as low as 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for nonprofits.
To Register for Assistance
Homeowners, renters, and business owners in the declared counties who sustained damages may register for assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free number, 800-621-FEMA (3362) between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. CST, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available to answer calls during this time. Those with speech or hearing disabilities may call TTY 800-462-7585.
Survivors may also register online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
For questions regarding the SBA loan process, call the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired. Help is also available by sending an email to email@example.com or visiting www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is Alabama's coordinating agency for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Learn more at www.ema.alabama.gov and follow the agency on Twitter (@AlabamaEMA).
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.