Assistance relief deadline extended

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted a 21-day extension of the deadline for Alabama residents impacted by April tornadoes to register for federal disaster assistance. The action is in response to Gov. Robert Bentley’s urgent request.

New registration deadline is July 18, 2011.

“I want survivors to understand the importance of registering with FEMA and filling out all necessary paperwork, including the SBA loan application, which is not just for business owners, but can assist homeowners and renters as well,” said Gov. Bentley. “Not returning an SBA application closes the door for other federal assistance opportunities.”

The deadline to submit loan application to the U.S. Small Business Adminstration has also been extended through July 19. While no one is required to take out an SBA loan, applications are a key part of the FEMA registration process and must be returned. A loan denial may open up other assistance to eligible applicants.

If the loan is not approved, survivors may be referred to other programs for grants that can assist the homeowner or renter in replacing essential household items; it can also replace or repair damaged vehicles or cover other serious diaster-related needs.

The three-week extension applies to Blount County and the 42 other counties declared for individual assistance.

Disasters survivors in these counties may apply online anytime at or call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 for those with speech and hearing disabilities).

For SBA applicaitons, renters or homeowners may call SBA at 800-659-2955 or download the application from