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CHARLESTON, W. Va.The deadline for West Virginia storm survivors to register for federal assistance has been extended 14 days to Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted the extension at the request of West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, citing a continued flow of new applications for federal assistance in the wake of the June 22-29 severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides. 

FEMA disaster grants are available to homeowners and renters in the 12 storm-impacted counties named in the presidential disaster declaration of June 25: Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers, and Webster. Nearly 9,000 applications from West Virginia survivors have been received by FEMA to date.

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 federal partners in disaster recovery, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), would also extend to Sept. 7, 2016 its deadline for filing physical disaster loan applications. 

The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses, homeowners and renters. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. 

If your SBA loan application is approved, you may be eligible to borrow additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples 

include elevating utilities, water heaters and furnaces, and installing retaining walls and sump pumps. Applicants may be eligible for an SBA loan increase, for mitigation purposes, of up to 20 percent of their physical damages.

The application/registration process is quick and easy. FEMA encourages all survivors who sustained disaster-related damage or losses to apply – before the Sept. 7 deadline – by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362 (TTY users should call 800-462-7585) or online at DisasterAssistance.gov . The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

You may also register at any of the five Disaster Recovery Centers located in Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Nicholas counties. An easy-to-use DRC Locator is available at http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm .

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West Virginians seeking information about disaster-related services and unmet needs, as well as volunteering and donating, should visit the state’s Help for West Virginia Disaster website wvflood.com . Contact West Virginia 211(dial 211 on any phone) for help finding food, childcare, crisis counseling, and many other resources available in your community. If you or someone you know is struggling with post-disaster stress, you are not alone. Help is as near as your phone. Call the Help for West Virginia Helpline at 844-435-7498. Also, you can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746. West Virginians who wish to help with flood response and recovery may sign up with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) at www.volunteerwv.org or wvvoad.org.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

The 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 can cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and 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.