JEFFERSON CITY – The deadline for Missouri disaster survivors to register for federal assistance has been extended to Aug. 14, 2017. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted the extension at the request of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, citing a continued flow of new applications for federal assistance in the wake of the severe storms and flooding between April 28 and May 11, 2017. FEMA disaster grants are available to homeowners and renters in the 35 designated counties: Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Christian, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, Stone, Taney, Texas, Wayne and Wright. Survivors – homeowners, renters or business owners – must register with FEMA to determine if they are eligible for federal assistance. Talking with county officials or the American Red Cross, or calling 2-1-1 does not automatically make survivors eligible for FEMA assistance. FEMA’s application/registration process is quick and easy. FEMA encourages all survivors who sustained disaster-related damage or losses to apply as soon as possible before the Aug. 14 deadline. • Call 800-621-3362. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. If 711 is unavailable use MO Relay 800-735-2966; CapTel 877-242-2823; Speech to Speech 877-735-7877; VCO 800-735-0135. Those who use TTY may call FEMA directly at 800-462-7585. Multilingual registration assistance is available. Operators will be available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST seven days a week until further notice. • Go online to register online at • Use the FEMA app for smartphones. More than 1,700 Missouri survivors have been approved for assistance by FEMA and have received more than $11 million in grant assistance through today. Disaster assistance for individuals may include grants to help homeowners and renters with temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacement, and serious disaster-related needs. Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare and other federal and state programs. Grants do not have to be repaid to the federal government. One of FEMA’s key federal partners in disaster recovery, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has also extended its deadline to Aug. 14, 2017 to apply for low-interest disaster loans. SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. SBA also offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is March 2, 2018. Survivors are encouraged to apply online using SBA’s electronic loan application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. If survivors are contacted by SBA regarding a low-interest disaster loan application, it is important for them to complete and submit the application as soon as possible. Returning the application does not obligate the survivor to accept an SBA loan, but it is a necessary step to be considered for other forms of disaster assistance. For more information, survivors may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice @sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339. Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and FEMA are committed to ensuring services and assistance are available for people with disabilities or others with access and functional needs. When survivors register, they should let FEMA staff know that they have a need or a reasonable accommodation request.
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By Larry Morrison It seems that sometimes in life one is just busier than other times. This is one of those times for the Douglas...