More than 13,000 Hoosiers Apply for Disaster Help

March 11, 2005

With the March 22 application deadline just around the corner, more than 13,000 Hoosiers in the 85 disaster-declared counties have already called or gone online to apply for assistance since Jan. 21 when President Bush issued a major disaster declaration for the state.

More than $10.5 million in grants has been approved for nearly 8,300 claims that have been processed thus far, according to figures released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

The following is an update of recovery activities as of close of business Thursday, March 10.

* 13,085 individuals from the 85 declared counties have applied for assistance.
* 8,275 claims have been approved for the Individuals and Household Program, totaling $10,584,432 in grants, which do not have to be repaid.
* More than 2,000 people have visited one of the 24 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Outreach Centers that were temporarily opened in various locations to help meet the needs of disaster victims. Five SBA centers are still open.
* 6,619 home loan and 1,009 business loan applications have been issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
* SBA has approved 50 loans, totaling $740,900. SBA officials encourage anyone who has received a disaster loan application to turn it in as soon as possible. Failure to complete and return the SBA loan application could stop consideration for other assistance programs, including additional grants.

Individuals, families and business owners who suffered losses in the declared counties as a result of the severe winter storms and flooding that occurred between Jan. 1 and Feb. 11 should apply for assistance by calling FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments). These numbers are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Multilingual operators are available to take the call. Individuals with Internet access now have the option to apply on FEMA’s Web site at (upper right hand corner).

Recovery officials urge disaster victims to apply before the Tuesday, March 22 deadline. Those who have received insurance settlements should also call to update their claim information. Assistance can continue beyond the deadline, but March 22 will be the last day to call or apply online.

SBA officials announced today that a large percentage of disaster victims referred to the SBA by FEMA in the aftermath of this year’s severe winter storms and flooding occurring Jan. 1 through Feb. 11 have not returned their loan applications for processing. The filing deadline is March 22, for physical loss loans for individuals, homeowners and business owners.

“Homeowners, renters and businesses in need of assistance to repair or replace disaster damaged real and personal property are encouraged to return their loan applications as soon as possible,” said SBA Disaster Area Director Michael C. Allen. “There are still several Disaster Outreach Centers open where affected residents may still get help or they may call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 for assistance with their disaster loan application. Those who do not return their SBA applications may be missing out on additional assistance in the form of low-interest loans, or a referral to FEMA for additional help for individuals in the form of grants” stated Allen.

Statewide, SBA has received 530 loan applications of more than 7,600 distributed to Indiana residents. For more information about SBA’s disaster loan program or for help with the loan application process, call SBA toll-free at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339 for the speech or hearing-impaired. Applicants with Internet access may also get more information by visiting the SBA’s Web site at

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