Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

Federal Disaster Recovery for Georgia

[Note: Deadlines may have expired. Please contact FEMA for eligibility information at 1-800-621-3362 or  at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.]

To assist those who may have been impacted by the storms and tornadoes that struck Middle and Southwest Georgia in January, we have compiled information on available federal disaster assistance.

Declared Disaster Area Eligibility for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance

A federal disaster designation has been declared in Southwest and Middle Georgia following the storms and tornadoes on January 2-3, 2017 and January 22-23, 2017.

Individuals in Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties are eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance

Directions for Registration

  • First Step: Register with FEMA. This is required for federal aid.
  • How to Apply: Disasters survivors can call 1-800-621-3362 or register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Helpline Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice at 1-800-621-3362.
  • 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 or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 800-621-3362.
  • The following information will be requested:
    • Social Security number of any family member;
    • Address of the damaged dwelling;
    • Description of the damage;
    • When the damage happened;
    • Insurance coverage information;
    • A current telephone number;
    • Mailing address if different from the damaged-home address; and
    • Bank account and routing number for direct deposit.
  • The following assistance may be provided:
    • Housing Assistance (including temporary housing, repair or replacement of dwellings, repair and replacement of essential personal property).
    • Other Needs Assistance (including medical expenses, vehicle repair, personal property and other items) if eligible.

For more information about eligibility and applying for FEMA assistance, please visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Assistance

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes to repair and replace damaged property owned by the businesses and to individuals to repair or rebuild real estate and personal property, including automobiles.

  • Home and Personal Property Loans: Tenants and mortgage holders alike may get up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property and up to $200,000 for the repair or replacement of real estate.
  • Business Physical Disaster LoansSBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $2 million available to qualified businesses for repair or replacement of real property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, inventory, and leasehold improvements.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans: SBA makes economic injury disaster loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and for working capital.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is March 27, 2017.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Oct. 25, 2017.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA 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

SBA Assistance for Private NonProfit (PNP) organizations

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding eligible Private NonProfit (PNP) organizations in Georgia of the March 27 deadline to submit disaster loan applications for physical damages caused  by severe storms, tornadoes and high winds on Jan. 2, 2017.

PNPs located in Baker, Calhoun, Dougherty, Early, Mitchell, Turner and Worth counties in Georgia are eligible to apply to SBA. Examples of eligible non-critical PNP organizations include, but are not limited to, food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.

The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to PNP organizations for physical losses up to $2 million.  Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster. Additionally, PNPs can obtain loans for unmet working capital needs.  To be considered for this assistance, PNPs need to apply by the deadline.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is March 27, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Oct. 25, 2017.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

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. Applications can also be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.  

Farm Emergency Loans

The Farm Service Agency also provides a disaster assistance guide for farmers and ranchers for natural disaster losses resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, and pest infestation. 

Background on FSA's Emergency Loan Program can be found here.

Please contact your local FSA Office to determine eligibility for USDA assistance.

Disaster Recovery Centers

Disaster Recovery Centers are open to provide information and guidance on FEMA assistance, state help and SBA disaster-loans. The centers are equipped with assistive gear to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Dougherty County
Former Albany Police Station
1721 E Oglethorpe Blvd.
Albany, Ga 31705
Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday
 
Albany Mall
2601 Dawson Road
Albany, GA 31707            
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday
 
Cook County
Cook County Administrative Building
1200 South Hutchinson Ave
Adel, GA 31620
Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday
 
Crisp County
Cordele Fire Department
112 Eddie Road
Cordele, GA 31015
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays
 
Thomas County
Thomas County Fire Department
1202 Remington Ave.
Thomasville, GA 31792
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays
 
Turner County
Turner Civic Center
354 Lamar St.
Ashburn, Georgia 31714
Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays
 
Worth County
Worth County Community Center                                           
1310 North Monroe St.                                                                 
Sylvester, GA 31791                                                                       
Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays
 

FEMA Resources for State and Local Entities

FEMA’s disaster designations provide state and local entities in Baker, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bulloch, Calhoun, Clay, Cook, Colquitt, Crisp, Dougherty, Echols, Early, Lowndes, Mitchell, Randolph, Tattnall, Thomas, Turner, Upson, Ware, Wilcox, and Worth counties with eligibility for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. This program provides resources for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities. Additional information on FEMA’s Public Assistance Program may be found here.

Additionally, all counties in Georgia are eligible to apply for Hazard Mitigation grants from FEMA. This competitive grant program provides funding for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards. Additional information on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program may be found here.

Links to Additional Assistance Resources:

Employment Assistance

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Supplies information on financial assistance for self-employed individuals who have lost their jobs due to federally declared disasters.

Tax Relief Assistance

For more information or updates on Georgia’s current disaster response and recovery visit gema.ga.gov and fema.gov/disaster/4294 or fema.gov/disaster/4297.

Further information on eligibility for FEMA assistance, local resources, and the application process can be found at www.disasterassistance.govor by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) can call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are currently operational from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) seven days a week.

 

Thomas, Worth Counties in Georgia Added to Disaster Declaration

FEMA

February 6, 2017

Residents of Thomas and Worth Counties who suffered damage in the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding of Jan. 21-22 are now encouraged to register with FEMA for federal disaster assistance.

Applying for disaster assistance is a two-step process that ensures consideration for FEMA programs and SBA disaster loans. First, register with FEMA, then complete and return the no-obligation SBA loan application, if one is offered. There is no charge to apply for the loan and if approved, no obligation to accept it.

Residents of Thomas and Worth counties who have already pre-registered with FEMA do not need to apply again, but are encouraged to follow up with their application. Registering with other organizations, such as the Red Cross, is not the same as registering with FEMA.

To register with FEMA:

Or, visit fema.gov/mobile-app. to download the app.

  • Call 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 or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Visit a Disaster Recovery Center. To find the nearest center in southwest Georgia, log onto fema.gov and search for FEMA: DRC Locator.

State of Georgia

Federal Disaster Declaration Fact Sheet

January 26, 2017

Today, January 26, 2017, President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Georgia triggering the release of Federal funds to help people recover from the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Straight-line Winds during the period of January 21-22, 2017.  Details of the disaster declaration and assistance programs are as follows: 

Declaration Number: FEMA-4297-DR

Incident: Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Straight-line Winds                                                  

Incident Period: January 21-22, 2017

Federal Coordinating Officer: Kevin L. Hannes, National FCO Program

Individual Assistance (IA) (Assistance for individuals and households)

IA-Designated County: Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Turner, and Wilcox Counties.

Public Assistance (PA) (Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities)

PA-Designated Counties: Under Review                                             

Hazard Mitigation (HM) (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards)

HM-Designated Areas: All areas in the State of Georgia are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

OTHER: Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.                                                                                                                      

Individuals in Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Turner, and Wilcox Counties can register with FEMA the following ways:

  • Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.  
  • Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

 

State of Georgia

Federal Disaster Declaration Fact Sheet

January 25, 2017

Today, January 25, 2017, President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Georgia triggering the release of Federal funds to help people and communities recover from the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Straight-line Winds that occurred January 2, 2017.  Details of the disaster declaration and assistance programs are as follows:

Declaration Number: FEMA-4294-DR

Incident: Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Straight-line Winds                                                  

Incident Period: January 2, 2017

Federal Coordinating Officer: Kevin L. Hannes, National FCO Program

Individual Assistance (IA) (Assistance for individuals and households)

IA-Designated County: Dougherty County.

Public Assistance (PA) (Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities)

PA-Designated Counties: Baker, Calhoun, Dougherty, Early, Mitchell, Turner, and Worth Counties.                                             

Hazard Mitigation (HM) (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards)

HM-Designated Areas: All areas in the State of Georgia are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

OTHER: Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.                                                                                                                      

Individuals in Dougherty County can register with FEMA the following ways:

  • Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.  
  • Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

 

Recovery Experts Warn: Beware of Fraud During Disaster Recovery

After a disaster, scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.

Survivors should keep in mind:

  • Federal and state workers never ask for or accept money and always carry identification badges.
  • There is NO FEE required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration or the state.
  • Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, text, or in person.

Survivors are particularly susceptible to fraud and price-gouging because their needs are immediate and there are few alternatives to offers of help. Survivors should take steps to protect themselves and avoid fraud when hiring contractors to clean property, remove debris or make repairs. In Georgia, roofers are no longer allowed to pay insurance deductibles unless the roofer employs a public adjuster to file claims.

Follow these simple rules to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:

  • Use a checklist to remind you of what you need to demand when hiring a contractor;
  • Use only contractors licensed by your state;
  • Get a written estimate and get more than one estimate;
  • Demand and check references;
  • Ask for proof of insurance, i.e. liability and Workmen's Compensation;
  • Insist on a written contract and refuse to sign a contract with blank spaces;
  • Get any manufacturing or labor warranties in writing;
  • Make final payments only after the work is completed;
  • Pay by check.

Donating money or supplies to the relief effort is a way to help survivors, but be alert to scams. Learn more about how to donate responsibly.

If you suspect contractor fraud or charity scams, report them to the Georgia Office of Attorney General Chris Carr at 404-651-8600. Complaints may be filed online. For insurance questions, contact the Georgia Department of Insurance Fraud Investigation Division at 800-656-2298. Also notify the toll-free FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement agencies.

You can check the reputation of businesses via the Georgia Consumer Protection Unit. The website is www.consumer.ga.gov.

For updates on Georgia’s current disaster response and recovery, follow @GeorgiaEMA and @FEMARegion4 on Twitter and visit gema.ga.gov and fema.gov/disaster/4294 or fema.gov/disaster/4297