NASHVILLE – FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams are reaching out to tornado survivors in a 12-county area in middle and western Tennessee. The teams are going door-to-door to help those who want to apply for FEMA assistance and to also make referrals to other local, state and voluntary agencies that may be able to assist with unmet needs.
NOTE: SBA and FEMA representatives are set up at the Personal Development Center at 8250 Highway 22 in Dresden. Any and everyone impacted by the December 10, 2021, tornado that hit Weakley County are encouraged to apply for FEMA assistance. FEMA offers grant programs for individuals impacted by the storm. In addition, those businesses not damaged by the storm, but suffered temporary closure due to the temporary loss of utilities are eligible to apply for economic impact funds.
Look for DSA specialists in Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, Weakley, and Wilson counties. DSA staff use mobile equipment when calling on survivors that allows them to create an application right there on the spot. Specialists are also able to update information, check the status of claim and answer questions about the application process. However, when applying to FEMA, DSA staff will need your social security number, annual income and bank information, as well as the names of those living in the damaged property. Like all FEMA field personnel, DSA staff carry a photo i.d.; you are encouraged to ask to see that before engaging in a conversation.
In addition to DSA, you may also apply for assistance by:
▪ Go online to www.disasterassistance.gov;
▪ Use the FEMA App for Android or iPhone which can be easily downloaded; or
▪ Call 1-800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Help is available in many languages.
If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
The deadline to apply is March 15, 2022.
Due to a Major Disaster Declaration recently signed by President Joe Biden, residents in those counties are now eligible to apply for FEMA Individual Assistance.
Assistance includes temporary housing, such as rental assistance or reimbursement for hotel costs, grants for the repair or replacement of a homeowner’s primary residence, repairing storm-damaged privately-owned access routes, such as driveways, roads, or bridges and other uninsured or under-insured disaster-related expenses such as the repair or replacement of personal property, moving and storage fees, childcare, medical and dental expenses and certain funeral costs.
After applying with FEMA, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In times of disasters, the SBA offers low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters. There’s no obligation to accept a loan, but you may miss out on the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds if you don’t apply. Information about low-interest SBA disaster loans and application forms are available online at SBA.gov/disaster. You may also call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. If you use TTY, call 800-877-8339.
For more information on Tennessee’s disaster recovery, visit www.tn.gov/tema.html and www.fema.gov/disaster/4637. You may also follow FEMA on www.facebook.com/fema and Twitter @FEMARegion4.
SBA Disaster Loan Program Overview
- The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and non-profits to repair or replace property damaged by the recent tornados in Kentucky. The interest rate for homeowners and renters is as low as 1.438% with terms up to 30 years.
- Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to make repairs to their primary residences and renters and homeowners can borrow up to $40,000 to replace damaged contents of their homes, including furniture, appliances, and cars.
- Businesses can borrow up to $2 million to repair and/or replace damaged buildings, inventory, supplies and other business assets. Businesses can also apply for economic injury disaster loans to help pay the bills they would have been able to pay had the disaster not happen.
- Churches with storm damage may also apply for a disaster loan.
- Residents with tornado damage should first register with FEMA. If referred to the SBA, homeowners and renters should complete a disaster loan application, even if they don’t want a disaster loan or think they may not qualify. It is part of the qualifying process for some FEMA resources. Those that are denied a disaster loan are referred back to FEMA for any other assistance that they may be eligible to receive. However, they must complete the disaster loan application to be eligible for that assistance.
- There is no obligation to accept a disaster loan if approved. Applicants have time to determine whether to accept a disaster loan.
- There is no need to wait for insurance to be settled to apply for a disaster loan. A disaster loan may be received before insurance settles to get started on repairs. The insurance settlement will be used to pay down the loan and what the insurance doesn’t cover will be the balance of the loan.
- For more information about disaster loans or for the status of an application, call (800) 659-2955 or visit sba.gov
- There are three ways to apply
- Individuals and businesses can apply online at sba.gov.
- Those wishing a paper application may call (800) 659-2955 to have one mailed to them.
Residents and businesses can get one-on-one assistance DRC) at an SBA Business Recovery Center (BRC).