Owners of homes and businesses with uninsured losses from Hurricane Irene have an extra month to apply for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The deadline for application is now Nov. 30.
After private insurance, FEMA and the federal Small Business Administration are the main sources of money for rebuilding after natural disasters such as the storm that hit the state Aug. 27 and left people in 38 counties eligible for disaster aid.
Depending on their income levels and other factors, storm survivors may be eligible for FEMA grants or low-interest, long-term SBA loans to help with rebuilding or refurnishing a home or business, as well as living expenses while a home is being repaired.
Applicants who are approved for loans are not required to accept them, and homeowners and renters who are turned down for loans may be referred to FEMA for additional grants.
However, neither agency can help people who have not registered.
Disaster centers are still open in Manteo, New Bern, Chocowinity and Grantsboro for those who want to apply in person.
People also can apply at www.disaster assistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).
As of Tuesday, 3,632 North Carolinians had filled out SBA loan applications related to Hurricane Irene, and the SBA had approved 849 loans worth a total of $29,779,500.
Of those, 96 were business loans.
Jack Camp, spokesman for the SBA's regional office in Atlanta, said that homeowners can get loans for up to $200,000 worth of uninsured losses, and renters can borrow as much as $40,000. Rates are as low as 2.5 percent, he said.
Rates for business loans are higher, starting around 4 percent.