BATON ROUGE, La. – The deadline to apply for federal assistance for severe storms, tornadoes and floods in May is August 2. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to receive a FEMA grant or a low-interest disaster loan from the US Small Business Administration. (SBA), if qualified. The five parishes designated for disaster assistance are Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville and Lafayette.
First, be sure to file a claim with your home and flood insurance provider. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits, but assistance may be available for underinsured or uninsured losses. Be sure to update FEMA once your insurance claim is settled.
FEMA disaster assistance for individuals and families can include cash for rent assistance, essential home repairs, personal belongings, and other serious disaster-related needs not covered. by insurance
There are three ways to apply to FEMA:
- Visit www.disasterassistance.gov;
- Call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. CT seven days a week. Those using a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel must update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
- Download the FEMA mobile app by sending an ANDROID or APPLE SMS to 43362.
After you have applied, you may be contacted by the SBA regarding a low interest disaster loan. Complete the SBA application for the process to continue. A low-interest SBA disaster loan can cover some or all of the difference. In other words, the SBA can bridge the gap between your collection costs, the insurance settlement, and the FEMA grant amount.
- The SBA offers homeowner loans up to the legal maximum of $ 200,000 to repair or replace your primary residence. The loans are tailored to your personal financial situation. On a case-by-case basis, the SBA may be able to help you refinance your current mortgage (s).
- SBA can also help renters and landlords replace household contents and vehicles, called personal property. You may be able to borrow up to the legal maximum of $ 40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances that were damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
For additional assistance, the SBA has set up a virtual outreach center for disaster lending which is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST. You can contact an SBA customer service representative by email at [email protected] or by phone at 800-659-2955. The SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan can help each survivor in their disaster recovery and provide one-on-one assistance in completing applications for these loans. You can apply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov
For the latest information on severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding, visit fema.gov/disaster/4606. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account on twitter.com/FEMARegion6.