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FEMA

Federal Disaster Aid Available to Homeowners

Oct. 31 Deadline for Registering with FEMA

New York State and federal officials remind those who were affected by Hurricane Irene that they have only two weeks left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible federal disaster assistance. It’s important that those who may need to register for aid do so as soon as possible. Registrations cannot be accepted after the October 31, 2011 deadline.

“Registration keeps open the possibility of a wide range of assistance,” said Philip E. Parr, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer. “If your insurance coverage comes up short, or other damage appears later, you need to be registered with FEMA to be considered for disaster assistance.”

To register, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.  Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week until further notice. People with hearing disabilities can use the TTY number, 800-462-7585. Applicants can also register online athttp://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with any web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Follow the link to “apply online for federal assistance.”

(The update above was posted October 18)

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SBA loan application deadline nears

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are strongly urging New Yorkers who have applied for disaster aid to complete and return their SBA loan applications. To date, SBA has approved more than $43 million in low-interest disaster loans for New Yorkers who suffered damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The deadline to apply for SBA disaster assistance loans for Hurricane Irene is Oct. 31. The SBA application deadline for Tropical Storm Lee is Nov. 14. SBA disaster loans are the primary source of long-term recovery aid. The application provides necessary information for determining assistance for each applicant. If SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be automatically referred to other disaster aid programs.

The SBA low-interest disaster loans are available to qualified renters, property owners, non-profit organizations, and businesses of any size that suffered losses due to the disaster. These loans are designed for disaster survivors not fully covered by insurance or without insurance. Anyone waiting for action from their insurance company is urged to apply – applications can be processed while you are waiting.

Loans can provide money for relocation, refinancing and mitigation projects to reduce the risk of further flood damage. Anyone denied an SBA loan has the right to ask for reconsideration. In many cases, SBA can, on further review, reverse such a decision. For more information, call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or visit the SBA web site at www.sba.gov.

(The update above was posted October 18)

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Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for the State of New York.

Those in the counties designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at:

http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov
or by calling
1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call: 1-800-462-7585 directly.
For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call: 1-800-621-3362.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for two months for homeowners and renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks from the date of the disaster declaration for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.

How to Apply for Assistance:

The toll-free telephone numbers above are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this information.

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