Congressional Advisory from FEMA
June 23, 2017
FEMA-4318-DR CA 001
Arkansas Flood Survivors Urged to Register for FEMA Assistance
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A June 15 major disaster declaration for Arkansas has opened the door for flood-stricken residents of 13 counties—Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Faulkner, Fulton, Jackson, Lawrence, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Washington and Yell—to apply for federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Residents should be aware that FEMA disaster assistance is for specific purposes centered on getting a disaster survivor into a functioning home that is safe for occupancy and secure. FEMA grants don’t cover all damage, especially to insured property, but residents with insurance are encouraged to apply anyway.
Insurance settlements often happen after the FEMA registration period has ended.
FEMA assistance is not the same as insurance and does not cover pre-disaster conditions. Essential personal property, such as a refrigerator, must be significantly damaged and the only such item in the home before replacement may be considered.
Residents of the 13 counties who sustained property damage or loss from the severe storms, tornados, straight-line winds and flooding between April 26 and May 19, 2017, may apply in a variety of ways for assistance to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs or other disaster-related expenses.
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS (Video Relay Service) or require special accommodations, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.;
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov (also in Spanish);
- Download the FEMA mobile app (also in Spanish) at Google Play or the Apple App Store, or visit fema.gov/mobile-app;
- Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available in ASL at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111546.
Be ready to provide Social Security number, address of the damaged primary residence, description of damage, insurance policy information, current contact information including an address to receive mail, and bank account and routing numbers if direct deposit is desired.
Business owners, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help recover from losses not covered by insurance, grants or other sources. Survivors contacted by SBA regarding a loan application should complete and submit it as soon as possible as it may open the door to other forms of assistance. There is no obligation to accept a loan.
Applicants receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA. FEMA inspectors contact applicants to conduct a home inspection and carry the applicant’s registration number and photo ID.
Inspectors will never ask for bank account information, and there is no cost for the inspection. Beware of fraudulent inspectors or contractors claiming a fee must be paid to get help.
FEMA inspectors ask for proof of ownership or occupancy. Tax bills, utility bills, rent receipts or other documents may be used as documentation. Applicants also need to present a valid driver’s license or other photo ID.
It is important to read and follow up with any correspondence from FEMA. Survivors may have to log into their account on DisasterAssistance.gov or call the helpline at 800-621-3362 to keep the application process moving.
Keep address and phone number current with FEMA so you can be reached during the application process.
For updates on the Arkansas response and recovery, follow the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (@AR_Emergencies) on Twitter and Facebook and www.adem.arkansas.gov. Additional information is available at fema.gov/disaster/4318.