Louisiana residents who sustained damage during Hurricane Ike have less than one week to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The last day FEMA will accept applications for damage caused by Hurricane Ike is Jan. 12, 2009.
Any Louisiana resident who suffered a loss because of Hurricane Ike should not hesitate to call FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 1-800-462-7585) which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents may also register on-line at www.fema.gov.
In addition to registering for assistance from FEMA, it is essential that residents also complete and return their SBA application by Jan. 12, 2009—even if they do not want a loan. An individual may be eligible for certain types of FEMA aid without completing and returning an SBA loan application. However, FEMA grants for items such as personal property, vehicle repair or replacement and moving and storage expenses cannot be provided unless an applicant has submitted a completed SBA loan application.
Residents and business owners can receive information about SBA disaster loans and help with the application process by calling the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or visiting the SBA website at www.sba.gov.
Sometimes people feel their damage is not sufficient enough to warrant FEMA aid, or that others have a greater need. However, FEMA encourages all affected residents to go ahead and register. While FEMA disaster assistance does not generally compensate for an entire loss, disaster assistance may help pay for unmet needs—including some needs not covered by insurance.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.
Individuals do not need to apply for an SBA loan before they can receive FEMA’s temporary housing assistance, which includes rental assistance, home repair and replacement funds, as well as grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses. However, an applicant must complete an SBA loan application to be eligible for FEMA assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).