Release Number: 1763-182
» More Information on Iowa Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Homeowners and renters who receive a disaster loan application should complete and return it to the U. S Small Business Administration (SBA), even if they are not sure they will need or want a loan. If SBA cannot approve an application, in most cases the applicant is referred to the FEMA/State Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program for possible additional assistance.
ONA can provide grants for some essential needs an SBA loan might not cover - disaster damaged personal property, lost transportation, moving and storage expenses. ONA also covers disaster-related funeral and medical or dental costs, but grants for these do not depend on SBA finding an applicant ineligible for a loan.
To date, ONA has approved $14.9 million dollars in disaster assistance for 7,921 households.
"We feel, however," said State Coordinating Officer Pat Hall of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management Division (HSEMD), "that many Iowans with flood damage are not returning the SBA loan application; and, by doing such, are losing out on possible grant money."
"Even if an applicant qualifies for an SBA loan," said Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Vogel of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, "the applicant does not have to accept one. But too many times, in too many disasters, we have seen those affected go without available help because they did not return the SBA application."
Don't wait until it is too late. Return the SBA loan application. It's not a big hurdle, but it is a hurdle. If SBA cannot make a determination of eligibility for a loan, the state and FEMA cannot make a determination on eligibility for an ONA grant.
The last day to register for federal and state disaster assistance is September 29, 2008. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585, or register on-line at FEMA.gov. The phone registration hours are 7 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.