March 31, 2010

Flood Disaster Assistance and Recovery Information

Following the major flooding in March, 2010, President Obama declared Rhode Island a federal disaster area. This declaration authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide federal assistance to Rhode Island residents and businesses impacted by the flooding. Currently, Rhode Islanders are eligible for several types of assistance, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Please click on the following link to view a fact sheet on federal aid programs for Rhode Island disaster recovery.

Affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). The toll-free telephone numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.. The application takes about 20 minutes to complete. Applicants should have on hand a pen and paper, social security number, insurance information, financial information (gross total household income), and contact information (name, permanent address, phone number).

There is also an important second step: filling out the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application that is part of the FEMA assistance package. The SBA has partnered with FEMA to provide low-interest loans to individual homeowners and businesses. In addition to registering with FEMA for assistance, it is worthwhile to also fill out an SBA loan application as it may increase the benefits you receive. Filling out the SBA loan application will not obligate you to accept a loan. If you fail to complete this important SBA form, however, you may be unable to receive the full slate of federal benefits. Though Rhode Islanders may not need assistance in the form of a loan right now, you never know what may come up, and filling out the application before the deadline is required to access these funds in the future. Completing the SBA loan application may also make applicants eligible for additional “Other Needs Assistance” benefits offered through FEMA. Rhode Islanders have until May 28 to complete these steps.

The SBA Customer Service Center can answer questions regarding the SBA loan application process. The SBA Customer Service Center can be reached by calling 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 (TTY), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by emailing More information about SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs is available online at .

Please see related files on the right for further information.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921