FEMA application deadline: Dec. 31

Here’s an announcement that we received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

Connecticut residents who suffered damage from Hurricane Sandy have only until Dec. 31 to register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA officials have announced.

Storm victims can register online day or night at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or with a smartphone or other Web-enabled device at m.fema.gov. Victims can also register by phone by calling FEMA at 1-800-621-3362. The TTY number is 800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Also, low-interest disaster loans are available from the federal Small Business Administration to homeowners, renters, nonprofits and business of all sizes. SBA is the largest source of federal disaster funds for repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed property.

Returning an SBA application is essential to completing the application process and may open a door to additional forms of disaster assistance from FEMA. No applicant is obligated to accept a loan.

These programs are intended to help cover storm-related expenses not paid for by insurance. Disaster assistance for homeowners and renters can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other assistance programs.

FEMA officials said that registration for disaster assistance with another agency does not register an applicant with FEMA. Also,  having flood insurance does not automatically register policyholders for disaster assistance; flood insurance claims are handled separately.

John Burgeson