The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is quickly approaching.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance or physical property disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stemming from Hurricane Ian-related damages was extended by FEMA in November, to January 12, 2023, for survivors in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties.
Multiple Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) have opened throughout the impacted areas, and it is not necessary to visit a Disaster Recovery Center to submit an application. Applicants can visit www.disasterassistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app, or call 800-621-3362 to apply. The line is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST, and help is available in most languages. If you use a relay service, such as a video relay (VRS), captioned telephone, or other services, give FEMA the number for that service.
To find a DRC close to you, visit www.floridadisaster.org or text DRC along with your Zip Code to 43362.
Insured disaster survivors should file a claim for damage to their homes, property, or vehicle before applying with FEMA, as the agency cannot duplicate other sources of assistance you may have received. However, residents are encouraged to still apply for assistance and loans while they await their insurance company’s decision.
Anyone impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole should submit separate applications for each storm. Additional deadlines for disaster-related applications are:
- February 13, 2023: Hurricane Nicole FEMA and SBA Physical Property Damage Loans
- June 29, 2023: Hurricane Ian SBA Economic Injury Loans (businesses and most private nonprofit organizations)
- September 13, 2023: Hurricane Nicole SBA Economic Injury Loans (businesses and most private nonprofit organizations)
Residents seeking a loan through the SBA must first register with FEMA using the above information. Once registered with FEMA, the SBA loan application is accessible at www.disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/. For additional information about SBA loans, call 800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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