ATLANTA – There are two dates coming up on the calendar that disaster survivors from Butts, Henry, Jasper, Meriwether, Newton, Pike, Spalding and Troup counties should be aware of.
Monday, March 20, is the last day to apply for FEMA assistance if you had uninsured or underinsured damage to your property after the January storms and tornadoes. The last day to apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration is three days earlier, Friday, March 17.
Homeowners who had damage should apply for FEMA disaster assistance because your insurance may not cover all of your damage. Renters who had losses caused by tornadoes are also encouraged to apply for FEMA disaster assistance. Your losses may include damage to personal property such as furniture, appliances and vehicles.
After a disaster, you may find that a FEMA grant and your insurance settlement do not give you all the funds you need to restore your home to its pre-disaster condition. SBA’s disaster loans can help with the recovery of homeowners, renters, nonprofit organizations and businesses of all sizes.
Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property including vehicles. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or working capital.
Homeowners and renters are encouraged to submit an SBA disaster loan application even if you’re not sure you will need or want a loan. There is no obligation to take all or part of an approved loan. If SBA cannot approve the application, SBA will refer you to FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program for possible additional assistance.
If your SBA application is approved, you are not obligated to accept the loan. However, if you fail to return the application, that decision may disqualify you from other possible FEMA assistance and other grants or services. All disaster loans approved through Sept. 30, 2023, will be granted 12 months of no payments at zero percent interest.
Here are the ways to apply for FEMA disaster assistance by Monday, March 20:
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
- Use the FEMA mobile app
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Help is available in many languages. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. Helpline operators speak many languages and lines are open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
- For an American Sign Language video on how to apply, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU7wzRjByhI&list=PL720Kw_OojlKOhtKG7HM_0n_kEawus6FC&index=6
To apply for an SBA disaster loan for property damage by Friday, March 17, or to download applications, go to https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/. You may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov to have a loan application mailed to you.
For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services. You may also apply or leave your loan application with an SBA representative at one of their five Business Recovery Centers. For the locations of the centers, click https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/sfc/servlet.shepherd/version/download/068t000000izy1BAAQ.
You may mail completed SBA paper loan applications to:
U.S. Small Business Administration,
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155
For the latest information on Georgia’s recovery from the severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes, visit fema.gov/disaster/4685. You may also follow @GeorgiaEMAHS/Twitter, Facebook.com/GeorgiaEMAHS, @FEMARegion4/Twitter and Facebook.com/FEMA.