Hurricane Harvey recovery is deemed to be one of the longest and most expensive tasks we will have to face in many years to come. Here are some insights from the SBA Administrator, Linda McMahon, on how her office can help. In New Jersey, we lived through Hurricane Sandy and it was a devastating experience for many residents as well as businesses without an appropriate recovery plan. Many never did recover. Reach out to the SBA to require help and assistance, do not delay!
Over the past week, as the people of the Gulf Coast deal with the unprecedented effects of Hurricane Harvey, we have seen heartbreaking moments of tragedy, of lives lost, homes destroyed and neighborhoods left in ruin, as well as remarkable acts of heroism and compassion as the first responders and people of Texas and Louisiana help each other survive. I have visited Texas twice in the past week and want to extend to the Gulf community my thoughts and prayers, as well as my commitment to help them get their lives back in order through the resources available through the U.S. Small Business Administration. While FEMA addresses immediate needs like food, water and shelter in the aftermath of a declared disaster, the SBA is your partner for long-term recovery.
Experts say Hurricane Harvey will pose one of the longest and costliest post-disaster rebuilding efforts in U.S. history. If you’re a homeowner, renter or business owner facing the overwhelming task of cleaning up water-logged debris and starting over again, I’d like to share these first steps that are important in making your recovery a little easier:
- Register for federal assistance with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). This gets you quickly connected with a variety of recovery resources available from our federal partners, which includes housing assistance, grants and SBA disaster loans.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. The Insurance Information Institute (link is external) has tips on how to settle insurance claims after a disaster.
- Check out SBA’s Hurricane Harvey page, where you can get information about how to apply for low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations.
- The SBA is offering loan deferments on existing loans to businesses and individuals in the counties affected by Hurricane Harvey. Read this policy notice for more details.
- Beware of scams! If someone tells you they’ll help with your SBA disaster loan application or other forms of federal recovery assistance “for a small fee,” they’re running a scam. Federal assistance programs are available to the public at no cost. Ask for identification. Protect yourself from fraudulent building contractors by asking for appropriate licenses and local references.
Now the real work begins. The SBA is committed to standing by Gulf Coast residents and businesses for the long haul. We are committee to restoring the local economy over the long term and laying a strong foundation for future growth.