Feds expand disaster assistance to include July floods

July floods caused major damage to businesses and streets and roads in Central Nebraska (Credit:Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency announced Tuesday that FEMA has extended the disaster assistance deadlines to allow those affected by the July flood to apply for federal assistance.

Residents in flood affected counties can now register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for uninsured damage sustained from the March 9 to July 14 storms and flooding.

There are now 29 counties and one Tribe; Antelope, Boone, Boyd, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dodge, Douglas, Hall, Holt, Howard, Knox, Madison, Nance, Nemaha, Pierce, Platte, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Stanton, Thurston and Washington and the Santee Sioux Nation, already designated to receive federal assistance to individuals.

FEMA disaster assistance for homeowners and renters may include funding to help pay for temporary housing and minimal home repairs as well as other disaster-related unmet needs such as eligible medical and dental expenses and replacing essential personal property.

Registration is quick and easy. You can choose one of three ways to register for federal disaster assistance before the Sept. 13, 2019, deadline:

• Go online to www.disasterassistance.gov;
• Call the FEMA help line at 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are on duty, OR
• Use FEMA’s disaster app on your smartphone. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you can go to www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
If you live in one of the 28 initial counties and one Tribe designated for Individual assistance and DID NOT apply for assistance but sustained uninsured damage between March 9, 2019 through July 14, 2019., you can apply for FEMA Assistance.

Once you have registered with FEMA and reported damage to your primary residence, you may receive a call from an inspector to arrange for a visit.

Here is a step-by-step process to help you get started:
• Document your damage – photos/video, list of damaged contents.
• Contact your insurance agent to see if there is coverage under homeowners, renters and/or flood insurance policies.

You will need to submit either insurance settlement information or a denial to FEMA as part of your registration so federal benefits can be correctly calculated. By law, FEMA cannot provide disaster assistance for the same damage already covered by other means such as insurance or aid from other agencies.

After applying with FEMA, some survivors may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Low-interest disaster loans from SBA are available for eligible survivors. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, 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 from other agencies or organizations.

If referred to SBA, residents and business owners should apply immediately as part of the overall federal disaster recovery process. Do not wait for insurance claims to be settled. There is no cost to apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan and no obligation to accept one, if approved.

Homeowners, renters and businesses in Antelope, Boone, Boyd, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dawson, Dodge, Douglas, Hall, Holt, Howard, Knox, Madison, Nance, Nemaha, Pierce, Platte, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Stanton, Thurston and Washington counties and the Santee Sioux Nation may be eligible for assistance.

Read the original version of this article at www.ksnblocal4.com.