For immediate release: Jul 11, 2008
Posted by: [GOV]
Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

Office of Disaster Recovery reaching out to storm victims

INDIANAPOLIS (July 11, 2008) - With deadlines approaching, the Office of Disaster Recovery, established earlier this week by Governor Mitch Daniels, is undertaking efforts to reach nearly 10,000 Hoosier households to help them take the needed steps to obtain financial assistance from the federal government.

Beginning today, the state will utilize up to 130 Family and Social Services Administration employees to contact households to help them through the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application process.

"Our goal is to reach as many people as we can who were impacted by our late spring storms and help them through this important process," said Andy Miller, who is leading the Disaster Recovery Office for the governor.

Through July 6, 14,632 storm victims have applied for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Of those, 10,000 households have been referred to the SBA to fill out a loan application, but only about 1,500 applications have been returned.

FSSA staff will make telephone calls to those who have registered with FEMA and have been referred to the SBA but who have not yet completed applications. In addition to discussing the loan application process, FSSA staff also will assess what housing needs families may have and determine if they need other state services, such as food stamps, child care and document replacement.

Those making the phone calls will help direct victims to FEMA/SBA centers where they can obtain applications or get help to complete one, remind them of upcoming deadlines and answer questions.

Completing a loan application does not commit the individual to take out a loan; however, the application is required to continue in the FEMA process, which may result in either an SBA loan or additional FEMA grant funds.

The follow-up will start by contacting storm victims in Bartholomew, Johnson, Morgan, Owen and Vigo counties, which have the highest percentage of population impacted by storms, and then move on to storm victims in other counties.

The deadline to submit SBA loan applications is August 11, and contact will continue until then.

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