FEMA goes to next phase of recovery

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Government personnel in Logan to assist victims of the March 23 tornado will be switching gears on Monday.

“If they’ve been putting it off, they need to put on their boots and go on down on Saturday and Sunday,” said Kim Pease, public information officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA and the Small Business Administration will be cutting back on staff and offering a different service, said Pease and SBA information officer, Phil Duncan.
In times of a disaster, the services change, Pease said.

For example, the SBA becomes the disaster bank, making loans to assist individuals and businesses to rebuild their lives, Pease said.

Helping to apply and taking in loan applications will be the emphasis on Monday, they said.

In all, there have been 549 FEMA registrations from tornado victims in Quay and Curry counties, Pease said. Of those, 138 were from Quay County and 411 from Curry County.

FEMA has approved $538,550 in housing assistance program and $143,317 in needs assistance which covers non-housing items such as clothing and dental.
Through the SBA, homeowners and renters can borrow up to $50,000 at an annual fixed rate interest 2.875 percent for up up to 30 years, Duncan said.

The SBA sets the payment schedule and time period of the loan based on the person’s ability to pay, Duncan said.

Overall, in Quay and Curry counties, the SBA has had 84 applications for loans, Duncan said. As of noon Friday, they had approved 16 loans for $710,400. Of the 84, only 12 are from Quay County. Of the 12, two are businesses and 10 homeowners, he said.

Eleven loan applications are in process, Duncan said.

Some 36 requests, from both Quay and Curry counties, for loans have been declined, Duncan said.

“We hope these 36 will come back and reapply,” Duncan said.

Counselors will be at Logan and Duncan said, “We want to make sure all have opportunity to apply. If you have been declined, counselors will be there to assist people and tell them how to gather information to ask for reconsideration.”

Before they visit, however, they should address the reasons for the decline cited in their letter, he said.

Those people whose applications have been denied have until six months from the date of the decline letter to reapply, Duncan said. And another appeal process is available after that.

In addition, only 10 homeowners from Logan have applied for loans. “We feel there a still a lot of people in Logan that could apply.” he said.

There has been one loan for $40,000 approved in Logan.

The deadline to apply for a loan is June 1.

Disaster Recovery Center hours of operation today and Sunday are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Beginning Monday the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Disaster Recovery Center is at the Senior Citizens Center, 103 S. Sixth St., Logan.