Two Weeks Left to Register for FEMA Grants and Apply for SBA Disaster Loans

The deadline is Nov. 23, 2015, to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance and to apply to the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest, long term disaster loans.

FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Centers in Calaveras and Lake counties will maintain normal operating hours on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11. At the centers, disaster survivors can register for FEMA disaster assistance, apply for an SBA loan, and discuss recovery issues with representatives of various organizations and agencies. DRC hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. DRC locations can be found at FEMA.gov/DRC.

Even if you think you were fully insured against the devastating wildfires, it is important to register with FEMA and also submit an initial SBA online loan application by the Nov. 23 deadline just in case your insurance later turns out to be inadequate.

Once registered with FEMA, an application for assistance can remain open for up to a year from the declaration date – until Sept. 23, 2016 – pending final resolution of insurance coverage.

Survivors also can finalize a preliminary SBA loan application after the Nov. 23 deadline, as long as the initial application has been submitted by that date.

So far, 3,598 individuals and households have contacted FEMA for assistance and information: 1,092 in Calaveras County and 2,506 in Lake County.

More than $10.4 million has been authorized to date by FEMA for individuals and households. That amount includes nearly $6.9 million for Housing Assistance and more than $3.5 million for Other Needs Assistance, such as replacement of damaged or destroyed medical equipment, clothing, essential furnishings, appliances and even an automobile.

To date, 2,763 damaged or destroyed homes, 99 percent of the total, have been examined by FEMA’s inspection services.

The SBA has approved more than $12.8 million in disaster loans to businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. That includes $11.5 million to homeowners and renters and $1.3 million to businesses and private nonprofits for both physical damages and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations have until June 22, 2016, to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans only.

FEMA refers most survivors to the SBA for long term disaster recovery loans. Those applicants should complete an SBA loan application, even if they feel they cannot afford or do not want a loan. SBA disaster loans are part of the federal assistance process. Accepting an SBA loan is not required, but submitting that application may trigger additional grant assistance through FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program, which is administered by the state of California.

Survivors can apply for FEMA assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585; 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Registration continues through Saturday, Nov. 23.

A direct telephone hotline is operational to process any requests from survivors who may need additional assistance: 916-381-0330, for TTY, call 711.

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