To the Editor:
More than $4.4 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments have been provided to the state of Florida and to households affected by Hurricane Ian. But time is running out for Hurricane Ian survivors to apply for disaster assistance. If your primary residence is in one of the 26 counties designated for federal disaster assistance and you incurred storm-related loss or damage caused by Hurricane Ian, you have until Jan. 12, 2023 to complete your application.
Survivors who have insurance are encouraged to file a claim for disaster-caused damage before they apply for FEMA assistance. You do not need to wait for your insurance settlement to submit a disaster assistance application. FEMA may provide financial assistance to eligible survivors who have uninsured or under insured disaster-caused damage or loss.
Apply online at disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362. Assistance is available in most languages. Calls are answered every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Survivors can also register at any Disaster Recovery Center operating throughout Florida’s disaster-damaged counties. To find one nearby, go online to: DRC Locator.
The Jan. 12 deadline also applies to applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.
FEMA’s Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants for medical, dental and funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants referred to SBA must complete and submit an SBA loan application to be considered for additional forms of disaster assistance. Applicants who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be referred back to FEMA to be considered for aid under the Other Needs Assistance provision. The SBA Disaster Customer Service Center’s number is 800-659-2955. Help is also available by sending mail to: email@example.com or by visiting www.sba.gov. Survivors may apply online at SBA’s secure website:
Businesses that have not yet submitted an SBA disaster business loan application, may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ under SBA declaration #17644. Businesses, homeowners, renters, and non-profits may visit the Business Recovery Center or Disaster Recovery Center for help in submitting an application or in seeking reconsideration of their loan decision.
Disaster loan information and application forms can be obtained from the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Jan.12, 2023. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023.
For the latest information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Ian and Nicole, visit floridadisaster.org/info and fema.gov Follow FEMA Region 4 (@femaregion4) / Twitter and at facebook.com/fema.
FEMA news desk