June 28th Last Day for April Storm Victims to File for FEMA AssistanceBy Daniel Cherry | Published 27 Jun 2011 07:50pm |
Today is the deadline to file for disaster assistance for those affected by the April tornadoes. MPB's Daniel Cherry has more on what residents can do to make sure they're covered.
Officials from FEMA and the Small Business Administration are urging those hit by the storms to get their application in before midnight. Clifton Jones is a spokesman for FEMA.
"If you do nothing else, register. If you live in a federally declared county and you don't know the nature of your damage, you don't know the size of your damage, you don't even know if you have any damage...register anyway. Let us figure it out. But you have to register for the process to start and I cannot state that enough."
FEMA grants are there for those who are uninsured or underinsured. In some areas applications for assistance have been low. That's largely due to homeowners like Louis Walsh who feel they have adequate insurance. Walsh says he was hit in 2005. Back then he was underinsured.
"I ended up having to refinance my house and add 50-60 thousand dollars to the mortgage just to pay my bills. The last trip. Now this trip I was a little more educated, and it didn't catch me that way."
The Small Business Administration is offering low interest loans to some who aren't eligible for FEMA grants. But only 14 percent of those eligible have filed applications for a loan. Matt Young, with the SBA says filing for a loan now could protect a resident from gaps they might find in their insurance coverage down the road.
"If SBA is able to approve the loan but later on they decide they don't want the loan, they can just say, 'No thank you SBA', and all it's cost them is the time to fill out that loan application. There are no costs associated with the SBA loan."
Those who wish to file today can call 800-621-FEMA, visit disasterassistance.gov, or go to their local FEMA field office.
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