Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tips ease process of applying for aid

Seeking aid could be a complicated process for someone already overwhelmed by a flooded home or business.
Here are some tips:

Call your insurance agent first. Tell them you're filing a claim but don't assume damage isn't covered because you didn't have flood insurance. Have an adjuster come out and look at it and review your policy. Take pictures of all the damage.

If you are forced to live in a hotel or even with a relative, the Federal Emergency Management Agency may help you cover some of the costs. Register at or 800-621-FEMA (3362).

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You may be eligible for a Small Business Administration low-interest loan, even if you don't own a business. FEMA will send you an application in the mail. If you don't apply for an SBA loan, you may not be eligible later for a FEMA grant.

If the SBA rejects you for a loan, you can apply for a FEMA grant. The assistance will only help bring your home to a minimally habitable standard, with assistance capped at $29,900, including housing assistance you may have received. Keep all receipts of your costs.

Sources: FEMA, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings' Nashville office managing partner Bob Wood.

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