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Federal Assistance Could Cover Storm-Damaged Septic Systems

Release date: 
March 16, 2012
Release Number: 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.  -- Indiana residents may qualify for federal disaster assistance to repair or replace septic systems damaged during recent storms.

Homeowners who have to move out of their homes because of septic system failure may receive septic repair or replacement assistance and may also be eligible for  rental assistance while the home is made livable.

Renters may also be able to receive rental assistance while the dwelling is made livable, but costs for repair or replacement of a septic system are the responsibility of the property owner.

Flood insurance does not cover septic systems, but affected individuals should check with their homeowner's insurance provider to find out if septic systems are included and which costs are covered. FEMA does not duplicate insurance coverage.

To apply for septic system coverage, Indiana residents must take the following steps:

  • Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). One easy way to apply is to call the telephone registration line, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). For speech- or hearing-impaired applicants, the TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 and Video Relay Service may be accessed at 1-800-621-3362. Those lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Register online at or; by smart phone or tablet at

    • After registration, an inspector will come to the house to identify and record damage.

  • Obtain a receipt or estimate for parts and labor from a LICENSED contractor. The document needs to state that the estimate or actual cost paid is/was required to make the home habitable. The homeowner also needs to ensure necessary permits, if any, are obtained from local officials.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, business owners, (which includes rental property owners) to repair or replace disaster damage. Residents and business owners may meet with SBA disaster representatives at any Disaster Recovery Center. Additional information, including center locations, is available by calling SBA at (800) 659-2955, emailing or visiting Hearing impaired individuals may call TTY (800) 877-8339. Applicants may apply online at

Federal disaster aid was made available on March 9 to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes during the period of Feb. 29 to March 3, 2012  in Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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