W. Va. Disaster Survivors with Insurance Might Also Qualify for FEMA, State and SBA Assistance

September 29, 2004

Individuals and business owners who have private flood insurance may still qualify for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state and federal officials said.

Home and business owners who were affected by the recent storms and the tornado may think that because they have flood insurance or a homeowners policy they will not receive help from FEMA. “Every resident with damages should call us, regardless of the coverage they have,” said Lou Botta, FEMA federal coordinating officer. “Even if they received a check from their insurance company, they may qualify for one or more of the types of help the federal and state governments provide.”

The toll-free teleregistration number to call is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY registration number at 1-800-462-7585. Calls are taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Residents also may be surprised to find that homeowner policies do not cover flood-related losses. In these cases FEMA may be able to help. Federal and state aid may include lodging expense reimbursement; repair assistance for homeowners and/or temporary rental assistance; medical, dental and funeral expenses; furniture, clothing and some appliances; vehicle costs (up to state limits); and other flood-related expenses not covered by insurance.

A U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan packet may be sent by mail once the registration is completed. The forms should be filled out and returned even if an applicant does not want a loan. If a person does not qualify for an SBA loan, the person may be referred to a grant program for consideration. If the SBA forms are not returned, other assistance will not be available.

The SBA low-interest disaster loan program helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all types and non-profit organizations with disaster-related losses not covered by insurance.

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