JEFFERSON CITY – The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Douglas County in the city of Ava opened last Thursday morning and closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 27. But survivors of the 2017 flooding and severe storms will still be able to get help with just a phone call. Many of the services available at recovery centers are also available on the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. Those who use TTY may call 800-462-7585; MO Relay 800-735-2966; CapTel 877-242-2823; Speech to Speech 877-735-7877; VCO 800-735-0135. Multilingual operators will be available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. The Helpline can help survivors: • Register with FEMA • Provide a change of address, telephone and bank account numbers and insurance information to avoid disaster assistance processing delays • Obtain information about FEMA home inspections • Get other questions answered about federal disaster assistance • Get questions answered about letters from FEMA • Learn how to appeal a FEMA decision Having the nine-digit FEMA registration number and Zip code of the affected property will be useful when calling the Helpline. Disaster survivors can visit any of the other FEMA disaster centers, where representatives from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can answer questions on disaster assistance or low-interest disaster loans. Locations of recovery centers appear online at recovery.mo.gov/ and at www.fema.gov/DRC. The U.S. Small Business Administration 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. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomer email@example.com, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339. Survivors can register with FEMA by: * Going online to DisasterAssistance.gov * Using the FEMA app for smartphones * Calling 800-621-3362 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. CST. Multilingual registration assistance is available. People who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. Those who use TTY may call 800-462-7585. The federal disaster declaration covers eligible losses caused by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding between April 28 and May 11, 2017 in these counties: Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell, Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney, and Texas. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomer firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard- of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
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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...