The Rockland Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) closed at Provident Bank Park in Pomona on Friday and representatives from FEMA (federal emergency management agency) and SBA(small business administration) will be at the Fire Training Center in Pomona until Dec. 31 (35 Firemens Memorial Drive, Pomona).
The deadline to apply for assistance has been extended from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31. Both FEMA and SBA representatives say that those in the field have not been given a limit on number of loans and grants they can distribute.
Steve Ward, FEMA Branch III director, stressed that Rocklanders who have received letters stating that they are “ineligible” for disaster assistance should reread the entire letter because they may just need to complete additional paperwork to receive assistance. In some cases, just one piece of paperwork is all that is needed to change a person's ineligibility status to being approved for some aid.
“The U.S. Small Business Administration continues to provide homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations with low-interest disaster loan assistance,” said Richard Daigle, public affairs specialist with the SBA. “Over $85 million in SBA disaster loan assistance has been approved statewide. We encourage those with SBA loan applications to complete and return the applications as soon as possible.”
Daigle encouraged everyone to apply for a loan because even if you're not approved, it may mean that the amount of grant money you would receive FEMA could increase. He added that people who are not eligible for FEMA or SBA can still get money because local funds have been set up by donations from private residents.
SBA loans for homeowners are as low as 1.688 percent with loan repayment terms of up to 30 years. Non-profit and business interest rates start at 3 percent and 4 percent respectively.
“Our job is far from over, but we have a strong team working on it and I’m optimistic that we’ll reach the bar,” said Chris Jensen, program coordinator with the County’s Office of Fire & Emergency Services.
Where to Apply
The Rockland Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will be closing at Provident Bank Park in Pomona on Friday, but FEMA representatives will be at the Fire Training Center at 35 Firemens Memorial Drive, Pomona until Dec. 31
Open 9 - 5 p.m. M - F, but call first to make an appointment 845 364 8800
Residents can also apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
To apply for SBA loans, first register with FEMA at the website or number listed above. Then visit DisasterLoan.sba.gov/ela or call 1-800-659-2955.
FEMA by the Numbers (As of Dec. 8)
- FEMA dollars approved statewide for individuals & households: almost 3/4 of a billion dollars ($764,387,568)
- Statewide FEMA registrations for Hurricane Sandy damage: almost a quarter of a million (249,328)
- Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster recovery loans approved for individuals: more than $96 million ($99,378,500)
"(We're) anticipated to reach that $100 Million amount no later than tomorrow," said Robert E. Galassi, Public Affairs Specialist for SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance. "We are here to help the many folks recover from the Disaster and attempt to get them back to normal, as much as possible. FEMA and SBA are here to help, but folks have to submit the necessary info to allow that to happen."
The following numbers as the totals through Dec. 5County County Registration DRC Visits No. of DRCs Westchester 5,098 821 n/a Rockland 3,017 358 2 Orange 988 84 2 Sullivan 445 9 DRC was open for 3 days Putnum 307 0 No DRC Ulster 225 18 DRC just opened 12/4