FEMA: Deadline to apply for flooding assistance, August 2

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 11:44 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 4:37 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - FEMA says the deadline to apply for federal assistance for May’s severe storms, tornadoes and flooding is Monday, August 2.

While some residents are still awaiting responses from FEMA, midnight marks an important deadline for those still seeking help.

“Hopefully, we’re just hoping that we reach everybody and make sure that everybody gets that need and that there’s no money left on the table,” FEMA Spokesperson Tiana Suber said.

Suber said, so far, they’ve paid out nearly $10 million in assistance to those who have applied.

“So far, we have over 7,000 applicants, and we’re hoping always to get more. We don’t ever have set numbers, we just kind of take in whoever needs that help. And we just build from there,” Suber said.

If qualified, FEMA says you will not want to miss out on the opportunity to receive a grant from FEMA or a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The five designated parishes for disaster assistance are Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville and Lafayette, according to FEMA.

FEMA says you must first file a claim with your home and flood insurance provider as FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits, but help may be available for under-insured or uninsured losses.

But the big question on the minds of many residents relies on improved drainage throughout the parish - something that could cost the state over $100 million as the area waits in hope of a federal aid package for Hurricane Laura.

”With the infrastructure and there’s been a lot of things talking about drainage and things like that. So, I think it’s very important that local governments are able to fix those things and make sure people are prepared for the ongoing hurricane season,” Suber said.

FEMA asks that you update your insurance claim once it is settled.

Disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property, and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance, according to FEMA.

FEMA says there are three ways to apply:

  • Visit www.disasterassistance.gov;
  • Call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. CT seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App by texting ANDROID or APPLE to 43362.

After applying, you may be contacted by the SBA about a low-interest disaster loan, according to FEMA.

FEMA says to complete the SBA application to keep the process moving. An SBA low-interest disaster loan may cover some or all of the difference, according to FEMA.

In other words, FEMA says the SBA may bridge the gap between your recovery costs, the insurance settlement, and the FEMA grant amount.

  • SBA offers loans for homeowners up to the $200,000 statutory maximum to repair or replace your primary residence, according to FEMA. The loans are customized to your personal financial circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, the SBA may be able to assist with the refinancing of your current mortgage(s), according to FEMA.
  • SBA can also help renters and homeowners replace household contents and vehicles, referred to as personal property, according to FEMA. You may be able to borrow up to the $40,000 statutory maximum to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars, or appliances that were damaged or destroyed in the disaster, according to FEMA.

FEMA says for additional assistance, the SBA has established a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST. FEMA says you can contact an SBA customer service representative via email at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or by phone at 800-659-2955.

FEMA says the SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan may help each survivor with their disaster recovery and will provide one-on-one assistance in completing applications for these loans. FEMA says you can apply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov.

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