FEMA & SBA aid available for Halloween storm damage

FEMA and the SBA will provide federal aid to state, local, and tribal governments in Oswego County along with non-profit organizations damaged by Halloween’s storms, high winds, and floods. Photo courtesy Pixabay.

OSWEGO COUNTY - Oswego and 17 other counties throughout New York that suffered damage from October’s Halloween storms, high winds, and floods are now eligible for federal aid following President Donald Trump’s disaster declaration Dec. 23.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of New York to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected.

The President’s action makes federal funding available on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair and replacement of damaged facilities.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Robert Little III has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Little said additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

The following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under the president’s declaration.

Assistance for state, tribes, and affected local governments can include:

Payment of not less than 75% of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available on a cost-sharing basis.

Payment of not less than 75% of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.

Payment of not more than 75% of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.

Application procedures will be explained at a series of applicant briefings, with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials.

In addition to the relief available through FEMA, The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Dec. 23 that certain Private Non-Profit organizations (PNPs) located in the same 18 counties throughout upstate New York may be eligible to apply for low-interest rate disaster loans. These loans are available following Trump’s presidential disaster declaration and apply to damage resulting from the same Halloween storms, high winds, and floods.

Examples of eligible non-critical PNP organizations include, but are not limited to, food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.

PNP organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The interest rate is 2.75% with terms up to 30 years. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20% of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes.

Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

The SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs, such as ongoing operating expenses to PNP organizations. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the organization suffered any physical property damage.

PNP organizations are urged to contact their county’s Emergency Manager (in Oswego County at 315-591-9150) for information about their organization. The information will be submitted to FEMA to determine eligibility for a Public Assistance grant or whether the PNP should be referred to SBA for disaster loan assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov/disaster.

Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is Feb. 17, 2020. The deadline to submit economic injury applications is Sept. 21, 2020.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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