A disaster recovery center opened June 27 at Pine Bluff and flood survivors are asked to register for services.
The center opened at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave., and will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release from FEMA.
The disaster recovery center will be available at Pine Bluff as long as the need remains. The last day to register for federal disaster assistance is Aug. 7, according to a FEMA spokesman.
Representatives will offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in counties included in the federal disaster declaration for flooding in Arkansas between May 21 and June 14.
The counties designated for individual assistance are: Arkansas, Conway, Crawford, Desha, Faulkner, Jefferson, Logan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Sebastian and Yell.
Officials from the state of Arkansas, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and other organizations will be at the disaster recovery centers to explain about available assistance programs and help connect survivors with resources, according to the release.
Homeowners, renters and businesses should register for disaster assistance before visiting a recovery center. There are several ways to register:
• Go online to disasterassistance.gov or disasterassistance.gov/es (for Spanish).
• Use the FEMA mobile app in English or Spanish.
• Call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY) anytime from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.
All recovery centers are accessible to people with disabilities. Centers have assistive technology to aid in communication. To schedule an American Sign Language interpreter, call or text 717-395-1379.
What to expect after registering with FEMA
Arkansas survivors who registered with FEMA after the flooding and severe storms beginning May 21 may have questions about what do next, and how to follow up if they have questions or have changes to their applications. Here are some next steps survivors should take:
Understand the Inspection Process
After survivors register, a FEMA-contracted inspector may call to set up an appointment to assess the damaged property. Inspectors will never ask for bank account information, and there is no cost for the inspection.
When FEMA inspectors arrive at a home, they will display official photo identification. If the photo identification is not displayed, it is important to ask to see it.
Survivors should make sure the home or mailbox number is easily visible from the road. As part of the inspection process, survivors must provide proof of ownership or occupancy.
• Homeowners may show a tax bill, mortgage payment receipt or insurance policy with the property’s address.
• Renters may show a lease, rent payment receipt, utility bill or other document confirming the home was their primary residence at the time of the disaster.
• Homeowners and renters must also present a valid driver’s license or other photo ID.
Follow Up With FEMA
After registering for assistance, survivors will receive a letter regarding their application status. Some applicants may receive an SMS/text message. The letter will explain the status of the application and how to respond. It is important to read the letter carefully.
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. They are also urged to keep their contact information updated with a current address and phone number to ensure FEMA can reach them with new information or questions.
Follow Up with SBA if Contacted
If survivors are contacted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) regarding a low-interest disaster loan application, it is important to complete and submit it as soon as possible.
Completing the application does not obligate the survivor to accept an SBA loan. However, submitting a completed application is necessary to be considered for other forms of disaster assistance.
The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
SBA also offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations having difficulty meeting obligations because of the disaster.
For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
If you are a farmer or rancher in Arkansas who has been impacted by flooding from May 21 to June 14, contact a local USDA Service Center to see what programs are available in the area and the eligibility criteria for applying. Please use the USDA Service Center Locator at https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app to find one near you.
Details: FEMA, http://www.fema.gov/armit | http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4441; Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), 501 683-6700 or www.adem.arkansas.gov. or the U.S. Small Business Administration, 800-659-2955 (TTY users may also call 800-877-8339), email@example.com or SBA at www.SBA.gov/disaster.