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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM)August 27 is the deadline for North Texans with damage from the spring storms to register for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

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As it stands, there have been some 29,000 households in 47 counties, that were declared disaster areas,  that have registered with FEMA. The agency says they have provided more than $44 million in grant money to help Texans with home repairs, rental assistance and other needs not covered by insurance.

You may be eligible for a grant or low-interest loan if you were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred from May 4 to June 22.

Tom Lozanos lives in Garland only yards from Duck Creek, which overflowed its banks in May. He says his house was filled with two-feet of water and despite having no flood insurance just paid for the repairs himself.

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Lozanos said the experience is one he doesn’t expect to go through again in his lifetime. “We’ve been here over 15 years. My thought is it [water] will never be that high, since we had the most rain recorded in 100 years.”

Officials with FEMA say even if you’re not sure whether you qualify for assistance you should file anyway and let them decide. Any grants awarded do not have to be repaid and you are not required to accept an SBA loan.

If you answer YES to any of the following questions and were affected by the disaster, you may be eligible.

  • Are you a homeowner, renter or business of any size with disaster-related damage?
  • Did you file an insurance claim for damage and have not received your settlement?
  • Are you uninsured or under-insured and have unmet needs?
  • Do you need help applying because English is your second language?
  • Are you a Qualified Alien or the parent of a U.S. citizen in your household?
  • Are you a person with a disability or have an access or functional need?
  • Do you receive Social Security, Medicaid food stamps and are concerned help will affect your benefits?
  • Do you need help, but feel others need it more or that there won’t be enough assistance for everyone?
  • Do you feel you will not qualify for a low-interest loan?

You can apply for FEMA assistance online or by calling 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time). Multilingual operators are available. Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

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