OKLAHOMA CITY —Time is nearly up for Oklahoma residents and businesses recovering from uninsured or underinsured losses and damage caused by February’s severe winter storms. Survivors only have two weeks left to register for disaster assistance with FEMA and apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan.
The deadline to register with FEMA and apply with the SBA is May 25, 2021. The fastest and easiest way to apply to FEMA is by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov.
If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free phone lines operate daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should provide FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
FEMA reminds survivors who registered online for disaster assistance that correspondence or information from FEMA needed to process their case will be sent to the online disaster assistance account created by the survivor.
When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:
- A current phone number where you can be contacted.
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying.
- Your Social Security number, if available.
- A general list of damage and losses.
- If insured, the insurance policy number, or the agent and company name.
After registering, FEMA staff may contact you for various reasons, including to discuss your case or request additional information. It’s important to answer those phone calls to ensure your application process continues.
If you have any doubt about someone who calls stating they work for FEMA, do not provide any information, but instead call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. CDT to verify that the call is legitimate.
For disaster damage to private property that is not fully covered by insurance, SBA may be the best option. SBA is the primary source of federal money for long-term disaster recovery. Non-farm businesses (including rental properties) of all sizes, as well as homeowners and renters whose property was damaged because of a declared disaster, should apply for a low-interest SBA disaster loan.
Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to replace or repair their primary residence. Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to replace or repair personal property — such as clothing, furniture, cars and appliances — damaged or destroyed in a disaster.
SBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $2 million to qualified businesses or most private nonprofit organizations. These loan proceeds may be used for the repair or replacement of the following:
- Real property
- Leasehold improvements
To apply for a low-interest, long-term SBA disaster loan, call 800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or complete an online application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.