COLUMBUS, Ohio –Tuesday, September 3 is the deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance from FEMA or for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). If you live in one of the 11 designated counties and you sustained damage or were displaced by the Memorial Day weekend tornadoes, storms and flooding, the window of opportunity to access federal disaster assistance is steadily closing.
Registering with FEMA is easy and there are several ways to do so before the deadline:
• Log on to www.disasterassistance.gov.
• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Sunday until further notice. Multilingual operators are on duty.
• Download the FEMA app on your smartphone at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
Information about how to apply for low-interest SBA disaster loans for businesses and residents is available online at www.SBA.gov/disaster. You may also call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.
Registration with FEMA takes a half hour or less, so it’s quick. But are you wondering why you should even take 30 minutes to register?
• To begin, if you have had damage of any kind to your principal residence – home or apartment – or were displaced, you should register with FEMA so that you may be eligible for federal disaster assistance.
• Applicants may receive assistance from FEMA for disaster damage not covered by insurance. Items such as basic home repairs or replacement of personal property are eligible uses for FEMA grants. FEMA grants don’t have to be repaid.
• In addition, eligible disaster survivors can use their grants to help pay for renting a place to live until their primary residence can be repaired, to pay for minor structural repairs or to pay for disaster-related medical or dental needs not covered by insurance.
Some survivors with more significant damage may need a larger amount of money than FEMA can provide to help with their recovery. For these situations, a low-interest disaster loan from the SBA may be their best option.
SBA disaster loans are the primary source of funds for repairs to homes and businesses and/or for replacement of personal property after a disaster. Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars and appliances damaged or destroyed in this disaster. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to pay for structural repairs to their primary residence or rebuilding the residence. Businesses and most private, non-profits may borrow up to $2 million both for physical repairs and economic injury.
So, don’t put this off any further! FEMA and the SBA stand ready to provide appropriate disaster assistance to all eligible disaster survivors. You’ve got two weeks left until September 3--the clock is ticking!
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during and after disasters.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 or TTY at 800-462-7585. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. All Disaster Recovery Centers are physically accessible and equipped to accommodate disaster survivors who need communication access. If you require an accommodation (ASL interpreter, Braille, Large print, etc.) while visiting a Disaster Recovery Center, just ask a FEMA representative.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 (Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339), emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , or visiting SBA’s website at sba.gov/disaster.