HATTIESBURG, Miss. – If you suffered losses or damage in the Jan. 21 severe storms and tornadoes, the time to register for federal disaster assistance is now. If you’re a survivor in Forrest, Lamar, Lauderdale or Perry counties, the deadline for you to register is Monday, March 27.
MEMA and FEMA urge you to register because help may be available to you and your family for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. Even if you have insurance, you should register because you may have under-insured or uninsured losses that qualify you for assistance.
Register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call the FEMA helpline: 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Multilingual operators are available.
After you register, if you don’t qualify for FEMA grants, you may be contacted by the SBA about applying for an SBA low-interest disaster loan.
SBA is the source of the largest amount of funds for disaster recovery provided to homeowners, renters, nonprofit organizations as well as businesses of all sizes to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, including contents and automobiles. The deadline to apply for an SBA disaster loan is the same as the FEMA registration deadline: Monday, March 27.
SBA disaster loan interest rates are as low as 1.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 3.125 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
If you receive a low-interest disaster loan application from SBA after registering with FEMA, complete and return it even if you do not need or plan to accept a loan. Submitting the application keeps you eligible for other possible grants from FEMA. By not completing and returning the applications, you may be potentially leaving recovery assistance money on the table.
For those who may have had difficulties meeting operating expenses because of the disaster, SBA may be able to provide you with an economic injury disaster loan. These loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes. The application deadline for an SBA economic injury disaster loans is October 25, 2017.
You can apply for an SBA disaster loan online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
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.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.