Help is on the way for those affected by the heavy rains that have caused flooding and unknown damage to homes around Victoria County.If your home, business or apartment was damaged or if furniture, appliances or cars were destroyed on or after June 16, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration can assist you.
Members of FEMA and SBA will be at 700 Main St. to provide assistance to those from Victoria County needing to register for disaster relief until Friday, said Maria Malavé-Pratts, external affairs field specialist with FEMA. The recovery center, which opened Wednesday, will be open today and Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
As of Wednesday afternoon, only nine applicants had come into the office, but 46 had registered over the Internet or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) and $90,000 had been awarded in housing assistance and $8,600 in other needs assistance.
The most important thing to do was to register, which can be done online (www.fema.gov), calling the 800 number or by coming in to the recovery center, which has both Spanish and English speakers. In order to register for assistance, you will need proof of insurance, proof that you lived in the place (a letter or bill will suffice) and a personal ID.
After registering for the assistance, FEMA will send out an inspector to assess the damage, as well as passing on registration information from SBA for loan applications for items not covered by insurance.
f flood victims qualify for a loan, once they've registered with FEMA and filled out an SBA application, the rates for home loans are 2.875 percent and 4 percent for businesses, nonprofits and economic injury loans (for working capital to small businesses and small agricultural cooperatives).
"A lot of people think, 'SBA, they only service businesses,'" he said, noting the loan process takes about 12 days. "We do provide disaster assistance to homeowners and renters. And the loans are designed for their uninsured loses ... SBA is here for the long-term recovery."