Flooding relief applications available at McGee Center

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Recovery Center remains open at the McGee Center despite little response from the county.

 

Conway Fire Chief Mike Winter said the center could pack up before its August deadline if participation does not pick up.

The Disaster Recovery Center is staffed with representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Disaster survivors can get help applying for federal assistance, learn about the types of assistance available, learn about the appeals process and get updates on applications.

Survivors can also register for assistance online at disaster assistance.gov or over the phone at 1-800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS (Video Relay Service) or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Representatives are on site with aides to help individuals who suffer from a disability.

Susan Pniewski, a Disability Integration Adviser, said services are available to those with disabilities and others who have access and functional needs, which can include children, pregnant women in their third trimester or someone who doesn’t speak English.

“Our role is to make sure that all of FEMA’s programs and services are accessible to the whole community,” she said, noting their were large-print informative books on site as well as magnifying glasses of various strengths, assisted listening devices and other aides.

Melissa Ryan with the Department of Homeland Security said she encouraged affected residents not to disqualify themselves from assistance before speaking with representatives.

“We honestly ask that all people who have been affected by this catastrophic event come out and register,” she said. “Reach out to us so we can help you and find out the best way for you to register.”

Angela Demerath, a specialist with the Disaster Recovery Center, said it is important for disaster survivors to come learn what services are available to them.

Services are available to residents affected by the flooding between April 26 and May 19.

Assistance is available for businesses and individual residents.

Demerath said this affects the way renters and their landlords can file for help.

Land lords are covered under the Small Business Administration.

The SBA provides federal disaster loans to Arkansas businesses. Businesses and private nonprofits can apply for up to $2 million for disaster repairs to real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Additional funds to businesses and homeowners can be approved to help cover costs for improvements to protect, prevent or minimize future disaster damage.

Demerath said individuals who rent are assessed differently from their land lords and can receive assistance for their damaged personal property. She also said that FEMA will assess businesses and individuals for possible further assistance even if they have flooding insurance. However, initial help will be left up to the insurance company if the business or individual is covered for flooding damages.

Residents can stop by the McGee Center at 3800 College Ave. in Conway from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 12-5 p.m. Saturdays to apply for assistance.

 

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