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Deadline to apply for FEMA assistance approaching

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- State residents and business owners living in the 40 counties included in the recent presidential disaster declaration -- which includes Clay County -- have only two weeks remaining to register for federal disaster assistance.

The designated counties include Clay, Adams, Bartholomew, Brown, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hendricks, Henry, Huntington, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Shelby, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Vermillion, Vigo, Washington and Wayne counties.

Aug. 11, 2008, is the last day applications will be accepted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Individual Assistance. Loan applications for homeowners, renters and businesses of any size to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property also must be submitted by that date.

Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge eligible residents affected by storms and flooding from May 30-June 27 to apply as soon as possible by calling the toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Speech- or hearing-impaired residents may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Individuals also may register for disaster assistance at the FEMA website at www.fema.gov.

Applicants who have questions about the disaster assistance programs or questions about the status of their previously filed applications should continue to use FEMA's toll-free helpline at 1-800-621-3362.

Individuals with SBA questions may call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339 or visit www.sba.gov.

To date, 16,392 state residents have applied for disaster assistance. More than $90 million in disaster funds have been approved for individuals affected by the disaster. That includes more than $42 million in disaster loans from SBA.

According to FEMA numbers, 16,450 people in the 40 designated counties have called the toll-free hotline to apply for disaster assistance and a total of $48,987,018 in disaster recovery grants has been disbursed.

In addition, 10,816 people have visited the disaster recovery centers in Indianapolis, Columbus, Terre Haute, Martinsville and Franklin and FEMA has completed 13,922 inspections.

Residents who receive a letter from SBA after they have registered for federal assistance with FEMA are urged to open the letter and complete the forms inside.

Returning the loan application is an essential part of the disaster recovery process even for individuals who do not want a loan.


Up-to-date numbers

According to FEMA officials, these are the latest numbers of Clay County residents applying for assistance:

* 384 people have applied,

* Individuals and Household Programs -- $702,604,

* Housing Assistance -- $627,463, and

* Other Needs -- $75,140.

The Disaster Recovery Center in Vigo County is still open Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., until further notice. The center is located at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, located at the corner of 13th and College Streets, Terre Haute.

Anyone with questions or concerns about a FEMA applications, including having received a "denial letter," or any other issue are urged to visit the Terre Haute center or the center in Martinsville or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). There are also United States Small Business Administration representatives at both locations to assist with SBA loan packets or other questions.



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