At the request of Montana’s governor, the federal government is giving Montanans who suffered damage from high water and flooding this year some extra time to apply for some help.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that the deadline to register was pushed back to Tuesday, Oct. 11. The original deadline was Sept. 16.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer asked for the extension, particularly for entities made eligible for assistance after the original declaration.
“Fifteen counties and one reservation became eligible to receive assistance nearly one month after the original 16 counties and three reservations were declared," Schweitzer said in the press release announcing the extension. "I asked for the extension to be sure everyone has time to register and get their questions answered. ”
President Barack Obama in June declared a disaster in the state for flooding starting April 3. That declaration allowed entities to apply for assistance repairing damage to public infrastructure. On July 27 he amended that declaration to allow private property and business owners of some counties and reservations, including Hill County and Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, to apply for help.
That amendment later was expanded to include the additional areas, including Blaine and Chouteau counties and Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
Private property and business owners may be eligible for grants and low-interest loans through FEMA and the U. S. Small Business Administration.
The FEMA release says most federal assistance comes in the form of disaster loans from the SBA. SBA's low-interest loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations for their uncompensated losses. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace their property damage and/or economic losses. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofit organizations to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.
“If you have any kind of loss, register, ” Doug Mayne, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said in the release. “Assistance isn’t guaranteed, but if you don’t register, it’s guaranteed you won’t get any assistance. ”
To register, people can call (800) 621-FEMA (3362), TTY (800) 462-7585 for people with a speech disability or hearing loss, or register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or using a mobile device at m. fema.gov.