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One week left to apply for federal disaster assistance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 30, 2012) — Kentuckians affected by the recent tornadoes have one week left to register for possible assistance. Homeowners and renters in the following declared counties have until May 7 to apply for individual assistance: Bath, Campbell, Carroll, Grant, Grayson, Johnson, Kenton, Larue, Laurel, Lawrence, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Ohio, Pendleton, Rowan, Russell, Trimble and Wolfe.

“You must register with FEMA as the first step in getting help,” said Director of Kentucky Emergency Management John Heltzel. “Signing up with other agencies doesn’t get you into the FEMA system. Apply even if you don’t think you need help. This is especially true if your home was unlivable, your personal property was lost or damaged, or you didn’t have adequate insurance.”

Libby Turner, federal coordinating officer for the Kentucky recovery effort, said the process is fast and simple.

“People shouldn’t assume they are not eligible. They could be opting out of important recovery resources by letting the deadline pass,” said Turner, who added that information requested is critical to the process and is kept in strict confidence by FEMA.

When registering, applicants should be ready to supply FEMA with current contact information, such as a mailing address, phone number, email address or that of a friend or relative, a Social Security number of any household member, the address of the damaged property, number of people residing in the household, total household income and a brief description of the problems and, if appropriate, any information about insurance coverage.

So far, more than $20 million in federal grants and loans has been approved for assistance to Kentucky survivors. Assistance may include FEMA grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration, and other programs to help survivors recover from the effects of a disaster.

People may register for assistance or check the status of their registration by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). If an applicant has a speech disability or hearing loss and uses a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 directly; if the applicant uses 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call


May 7 also is the deadline to submit SBA disaster loan applications for property damage. So far, SBA has approved more than $10 million in federal disaster loans to help Kentucky residents and businesses recover from disaster losses.

SBA disaster loans can help with repair or replacement of disaster-damaged property. Those who can apply include homeowners, renters, private, nonprofit organizations, and businesses of all sizes, including home-based operations and individuals who own multiple rental properties.

Loan amounts may be up to $200,000 for a primary residence, $40,000 for personal property and $2 million for a business. Interest rates may be as low as 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, three percent for private nonprofit organizations and four percent for businesses.

Homeowners and renters should submit the SBA disaster loan application even if they are not sure they will need or want a loan. There are no fees or costs to apply and applicants will have time to decide if they want the loan. If SBA cannot approve their application, in most cases they refer the applicant to FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program for possible additional assistance.

Applicants may apply online via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information, contact SBA by calling 1-800-659-2955, emailing [email protected], or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.  Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 1-800-877-8339.