What if FEMA Says No? You Still Have Aid Options
Like many other residents in Linn County, the moment I heard about federal individual assistance being offered for those who suffered storm damage from the derecho, I got my computer out and filed right away. The whole process was relatively simple. I even wrote a story about the experience. But, because of the coverage I have with my homeowners insurance my initial claim was denied. Don't get discouraged though, as there are still some options that could land you the money you need to rebuild.
First of all, if you don't get the money you need from your insurance company, you can still call the FEMA hotline and explain your needs. That number is 1-800-621-3362. They may be able to make up the difference if your coverage is lacking. The other option that is available to individuals and also some businesses is a low interest loan through the Small Business Administration.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that loans are available through the SBA and the Federal Emergency Response Agency. Individuals can borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property and up to $200,000 for damage to their home. For a business, loans can cover up to $2 million in damage to real estate, equipment, or inventory. The Gazette points out that interest rates will depend on you have enough funds or the ability to borrow somewhere else. Someone without would pay a rate of 1.188 percent without other credit available, and 2.375 with other credit available.
The deadline to apply is October 19th. You can apply directly on their website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.