WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) met Thursday with Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Administrator William Craig Fugate to discuss FEMA’s performance post-Tropical Storm Irene, and to go over procedures for applying for Public and Individual Assistance.  FEMA has declared Connecticut eligible for assistance under these programs.

“I had a very productive meeting this morning with Administrator Fugate and appreciate FEMA’s recovery efforts to date,” said Himes.  “FEMA has been quick to respond to the devastation left in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, and I am happy to announce that FEMA has declared Connecticut’s residents, small businesses and municipalities eligible for disaster assistance.  This important financial aid will help Connecticut pay for all of the clean-up and repairs leftover from the storm.”

State residents can apply to FEMA for Individual Assistance for their damaged property.  FEMA can help cover the costs of repairs when the damaged property is not covered by insurance.  Types of assistance include temporary housing, home repair or replacement, permanent and semi-permanent housing construction, and other needs such as medical, dental, funeral, and transportation expenses.  In order to receive assistance, residents must apply directly to FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  This line is open every day from 7am to 10pm.  Residents can also apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov.  The deadline for applying for Individual Assistance is November 3, 2011.  Click here to learn more about how to apply for individual assistance.

Residents can also apply for disaster recovery loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.  The deadline for applying for physical property damage loans is November 3, 2011.  To learn more about these loans, including how to apply, call FEMA at 800-621-3362 or the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

Small businesses are also eligible for assistance under the SBA.  Small businesses can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), which are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations that were affected by Tropical Storm Irene.  EIDLs assist these entities in meeting their financial obligations that cannot be met because of the storm.  The deadline for applying for an EIDL is June 4, 2012.  Businesses and private non-profit organizations may also borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Click here to learn more about how to apply for a SBA loan, or call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

Additionally, the SBA and FEMA are opening nine Disaster Recovery Centers throughout Connecticut - including one in Greenwich at the Western Greenwich Civic Center, located at 449 Pemberwick Road.  At these centers, residents can receive guidance on the application process, answers to questions they may have regarding applying for loans, or find the status of an application they have already submitted.  The regular hours for these centers will be Monday through Saturday from 9AM to 7PM and Sunday from 10AM to 3PM.