Many options are available to storm and flood survivors to take charge of their recovery, whether they are still waiting to find out if they are eligible for disaster assistance or have already received it. Here are some tips and resources to help applicants proceed along the road to a smart recovery.
If you had damage from the severe storms and flooding that took place between April 30 and May 18, the deadline to register is July 6. Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY: 800-462-7585).
If you have questions, call the Helpline at 800-621-3362 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center. Locations can be found at https://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/drcLocator.jsp
If you receive a disaster loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), complete and return it, even if you are not interested in taking out a loan. Failure to fill out an SBA application will prevent referral for other possible federal assistance.
For those who have been displaced and need a home to rent, thousands of rental listings can be found at FEMA's housing portal at asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htm Also, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency sponsors a free, statewide rental housing database of available properties. Online access is available at www.TNHousingSearch.org or by calling 877-428-8844.
Families who do not have many rental resource options in their area or who would like to live on their property while they make repairs to their home are permitted to use FEMA assistance grants toward the purchase or rental of a trailer, RV or manufactured housing.
JOB LOSS DUE TO DISASTER
You may be eligible for unemployment assistance if the storms and flooding affected your ability to work. File a claim at 877-813-0950. For information about deadlines and locations go to www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/unemployment_dua.html. LOW-INTEREST LOANS
The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans to homeowners and renters as well as businesses. Find more information at www.sba.gov
It is normal to experience stress while rebuilding after a disaster. If you feel you are having trouble coping, short-term crisis counseling referrals are available at any nearby Disaster Recovery Center or online at www.tn.gov/mental. Or call 800-809-9957.
Call the disaster legal assistance hotline at 888-395-9297. This is a joint project by the Tennessee Bar Association, the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Assistance, the American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division and local legal organizations. The hotline is a source of advice on insurance claims, landlord-tenant problems, home repair contracts, mortgage foreclosure problems, replacement of legal documents and other disaster-related matters.
If you need additional clothing, furniture or other supplies, call Tennessee's 2-1-1 line. You may also be eligible for assistance with cleaning your house, removing mold and mucking out as well as with repairs.
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