FEMA application scams, SBA loans, and home hurricane inspections
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Volusia County officials warn residents of a FEMA application scam where a person may receive a text message notifying them “their $2,800 in federal disaster assistance is available” and instruct the resident to visit a link to provide personal information for FEMA to verify.
Those who have applied to FEMA should know they will contact you to notify you of its decision or if additional information is needed to process your application. However, this notification may come in a letter or a phone call.
According to a release, criminals may try to apply for FEMA assistance using your information if you have been the victim of identity theft. If a FEMA inspector visits your residence, but you have not submitted a FEMA application, your identity may have been compromised. Inform the inspector you did not apply for FEMA assistance. Additionally, if you received a letter from FEMA but did not apply, call 800-621-3362 for assistance.
Report any suspicion of identity theft to your local law enforcement agency and the Office of the Attorney General at 866-966-7226.
Also, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is waiving interest rates and automatically extending the initial payment deferment period for 12 months for all loans approved in response to a disaster declared on or after September 21 through September 30, 2023.
Borrowers who have already received their loan for a disaster declared after September 21, their loan’s effective date would also receive an automatic extension of their first payment due date and zero percent interest for the first year. Borrowers will receive notification from SBA regarding their loan modification.
There is no need to submit a request to receive this benefit.
SBA loans are available to impacted residents in addition to businesses. A loan application may be found at, https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/, by calling 800-659-2955, by emailing email@example.com, or by visiting the Disaster Recovery Center at the Florida Department of Health-Volusia, 1845 Holsonback Drive, Daytona Beach.
Florida homeowners of any site-built, single-family residential property may apply for a free hurricane inspection through the My Safe Florida Home Program. Upon completion of the inspection, the homeowner will receive a report and recommendations to improve their property. Eligible applicants may then apply for grant funds to strengthen improvements.
For more information regarding eligible activities and to register, visit www.mysafeflhome.com.