By George Knox, Lutheran Services Carolinas
Two weeks remain for survivors of the Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in South Carolina to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The registration deadline is Friday, Dec. 4. Once registered, you’re in the system. There is no need to register again.
Assistance can include money for temporary housing and essential home repairs for primary homes, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help survivors recover from the effects of the disaster.
There are several ways to register for federal assistance. Individuals can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling toll-free at 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Multilingual operators are available. Survivors may also get assistance from a Disaster Survivor Assistance team member working in their communities.
Although it is not necessary to visit a disaster recovery center in the 24 disaster-designated counties, some survivors may want to visit a center where they can have access to FEMA program specialists and other federal representatives. For the 29 center locations currently open, visit: http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.
Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Survivors who use 711 or Video Relay Service or require accommodations while visiting a center may call 800-621-3362.
The SBA deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses to submit loan applications for physical damage is also Dec. 4. Survivors may obtain information by visiting the SBA website www.sba.gov/disaster; applying online via SBA’s secure website https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela; or calling SBA’s disaster assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.
At the disaster recovery centers, SBA customer service representatives can answers questions, help complete loan applications and close loans. The SBA also operates business recovery centers in Charleston, Horry, Richland and Sumter counties.