FEMA to close disaster recovery center on Saturday

Published 1:40 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) inside the William Griggs Recreation Center is set to close on Saturday.

For those still wishing to get face-to-face help from FEMA with applying for federal aid for the Jan. 12 tornadoes, Saturday is the last day to do so, at least locally. The Troup County DRC will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday, Feb. 25.

DRCs in Butts, Henry, Jasper, Meriwether and Newton Counties will also close on Saturday.

FEMA is not leaving the state. The DRC in Spalding County will remain open to help survivors of the Jan. 12 storm tornadoes. Survivors from Troup County —or any county affected by the storm— can visit the Spalding DRC inside the Spalding County Senior Center at 885 Memorial Dr. in Griffin, Georgia.

“The DRCs are not restricted to the residents of a given county; it’s there for everybody,” said Nate Custer, FEMA Media Relations Specialist.

The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance is Monday, March 20. Survivors can apply at disasterassistance.gov or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Survivors can also apply for assistance by visiting the Troup DRC through Saturday or the Spalding DRC afterward.

FEMA continues to encourage those who were initially denied federal relief funds to visit a DRC or contact the helpline. In many cases, the applications were denied simply due to missing information.

FEMA also recommends applying for a US Small Business Association (SBA) loan if you are denied federal relief funds or even if the damages are covered by insurance. The loans are low-interest, with no payments and or interest for a year.

Survivors are not required to accept the loans, however, completing the application may make residents eligible for other FEMA assistance.

Money from the SBA loans is often received quicker than insurance settlements, which can then be used to repay the loans.

Custer said that the closings are done in consultation with local emergency management and the state.

“The feeling is that pretty much all the people that wanted to go [to the DRC] have been taken care of with the relatively smaller number of people affected in these six counties,” Custer said.