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In-Depth: What to know if you’re applying for FEMA aid

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Aug 24, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Humphreys County residents and business owners can now apply for federal disaster assistance.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • President Joe Biden approved Tennessee’s disaster declaration
  • Federal funding is available to Humphreys County residents, business owners
  • You can apply here or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)
  • If you need immediate help, check with your local emergency management agency, volunteer agencies or call 211.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) says the Major Disaster Declaration will make FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) program available to residents and households in Humphreys County. Click here to read more about how to get temporary housing.

According to FEMA’s website, if you have insurance, you should file a claim with your insurance company when you apply for FEMA assistance. While FEMA cannot cover losses already covered by insurance, the agency says you may be eligible for assistance if all of your losses aren’t covered.

Federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help residents and business owners recover.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also has a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center for homeowners, renters and business owners. If you have questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, you can call (916) 735-1500, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m on Mondays – Fridays, or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov. Read more about SBA loans.

I’ve applied for assistance. Now what?

Once you have applied for assistance, you will get notification letters from FEMA that will explain your next steps. If you indicated that you cannot live in your primary residence during the application process, FEMA says an inspector will contact you by phone to schedule an inspection.

According to FEMA, all inspections will be done without entering your home. When inspectors arrive, they will maintain social distance, visually assess the exterior of the residence, and confirm the interior damage over the phone.

Read more about what to expect after you apply.

Do you have to pay back FEMA help?

According to FEMA, some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other types of help may come in the form of loans. A FEMA representative will explain those details to you when you call. You can also review your claim at the online Individual Assistance Center.