Federal officials urge St. Louis-area flood victims to apply for aid as deadline looms
The clock is ticking for St. Louis-area homeowners and renters affected by July’s severe storms and flooding to apply for federal aid.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration have approved more than $54 million in federal relief. Of that, the SBA has approved roughly $11.4 million in disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. Susheel Kumar, a spokesman for the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance, said the application process can feel overwhelming for many. He said asking questions is important.
“Come talk to our six disaster recovery centers and our business recovery center at the Urban League,” Kumar said. “Let us talk to you about what we need to do. When you don’t talk with us, perhaps your questions go unanswered. That question going unanswered might be real dollars and cents being left on the table.”
According to the latest figures, FEMA has approved roughly $29.3 million in individual assistance grants for damage and serious needs not covered by insurance including personal property, basic home repairs and rental assistance related to relocation caused by flood damage. The agency’s National Flood Insurance Program has paid more than $15.2 million in claims for those with flood insurance policies.
Bob Howard, a FEMA spokesman, encourages those who apply for federal aid at one of the region’s disaster recovery centers to have up-to-date contact information. He said it makes the process smoother in the long run.
“You want to have a phone number where you can now be contacted if you had to leave your home,” Howard said. “You want to have your disaster address at the time of the flooding and also the address where you’re now staying if it’s not at that place. Your Social Security number. One member of the household is all that’s needed. A basic list of damages and losses, and bank information if you want to have any grant deposited directly to your bank.”
Residents in the city of St. Louis and St. Charles and St. Louis counties must apply by Oct. 7. Applications can be completed by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); online at disasterassistance.gov; or by visiting one of the region’s disaster recovery centers. Specialists from FEMA and the SBA will be on site to help complete the application or check the application status. All locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Appointments are not required. Here are the locations:
Ranken Technical College
Mary Ann Lee Technology Center
1313 N. Newstead Ave.
St. Louis 63113
(On the corner of Newstead and Page)
Salvation Army Temple Center
2740 Arsenal St.
St. Louis 63118
(Near the corner of Arsenal and California)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY
Urban League Empowerment Center
9420 W. Florissant Ave.
University City Recreation Division
7210 Olive Blvd.
University City 63130
Hazelwood Civic Center
8969 Dunn Road
ST. CHARLES COUNTY
O’Fallon Municipal Centre
100 N. Main St.
Developmental Disabilities Resource Board – DDRB Building
1025 Country Club Road
St. Charles 63303
(Near I-70 at the Zumbehl Road exit)
The DDRB location will close permanently at 6 p.m. Sept. 14.
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