With total federal support to date for Hurricane Sandy damage in the The Ocean State now exceeding $9.8 million, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the deadline for Rhode Islanders with losses from Sandy to register for assistance until February 13.
The following is a summary as of January 10, 2013, of federal support for individuals, families and public entities with losses from Hurricane Sandy:
• 590 households have registered with FEMA for some form of disaster assistance, including financial grants, loans and other disaster-related services. • $368,374 has been approved in grants to cover repairs to homes and rental assistance • $22,086 has been approved to help Rhode Islanders with other disaster-related needs such as lost personal property and loss of transportation. • 71 applicants have requested aid from the Public Assistance Program. For these applicants FEMA has prepared 97 separate public assistance projects totaling $2,370,404, of which $347,793 has already been obligated to the state to reimburse local and state government entities and some non-profits. • $631,400 in low interest, disaster recovery loans to homeowners has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration. • The National Flood Insurance Program estimates that approximately 1,000 claims have been filed related to Hurricane Sandy in Rhode Island and around $6.5 million has been paid out to survivors.
Rhode Islanders have until midnight February 13 to register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Individuals may also register by calling FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362) daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Multilingual recovery specialists are available. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly; or 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay service.
FEMA-state assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, uninsured vehicle damage, lost or damaged personal property and many other costs incurred because of Hurricane Sandy. Even people who have insurance may qualify for FEMA aid to help with expenses their insurance does not cover, such as temporary housing during home repairs.
Low interest disaster loans are vital to full recovery for many who had storm damage. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides these loans, not just for small businesses, but also for homeowners, renters, businesses of any size and some private nonprofits to cover uncompensated real or personal property losses. The deadline to apply for an SBA loan is February 13.
SBA disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov or completed on-line at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
Rhode Islanders who lost income because of Hurricane Sandy and are ineligible for regular unemployment benefits may be eligible for special disaster unemployment benefits. The deadline to apply is February 4, 2013. File a claim online at http://www.dlt.ri.gov/ui/.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.