Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.
Disaster Recovery Centers to close Feb. 11
The Disaster Recovery Centers in Louisa and Spotsylvania counties will close after next weekend.
The centers will close its doors Saturday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m., officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday.
Both centers have been available to anyone who has has questions or needs assistance related to the 5.8- magnitiude earthquake that shook the region on Aug. 23.
The epicenter was in Mineral and there have been dozens of aftershocks since then causing damage to homes and buildings.
The Louisa Center, in the Triangle Plaza Shopping Center at 502 East Main Street , opened in November after President Barack Obama declared the Virginia earthquake a natural disaster. The Spotsylvania center, located at 8960 Courthouse Road, near the intersection of Courthouse and Crestar Roads across from Courthouse Cafe, opened in late December.
Both centers are available to anyone regardless of where they live or work.
After the centers close, one-on-one help will still be avilable by phone.
Earthquake survivors may speak with disaster specialists to register and to check the status of their application by calling the toll-free registration number at 800/621-3362 or go online to disasterAssistance.gov. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Residents of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania, Louisa, Orange, Culpeper, Fluvanna and Goochland have all been approved to receive individual assistance for damages from the quake.
Disaster officials recommend that you officially register with FEMA before visiting the disaster recovery center.
The deadline to register for state and federal assistance to help cover earthquake-related losses is March 5.
That date is for renters, homeowners and business owners whose property was damaged during the Aug. 23 earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks. The financial assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing needs, essential home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses that aren’t covered by insurance or other sources.
As of last week, the latest numbers available, nearly $9.7 million was disbursed to almost 5,600 registrants. The majority went to Louisa, which was approved for more than $7.7 million.
The deadline to file for disaster unemployment assistance is tomorrow at any Virginia Employment Commission field office. That covers those whose employment was affected by the earthquake in one of the affected jurisdictions.
Businesses and nonprofits in the counties of Caroline, Fauquier and Stafford can apply only for economic-injury loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. They provide working capital to pay for such things as operating costs, taxes and salaries if a business had to shut down because of the quake
APPLYING FOR HELP
To apply for FEMA assistance with damage from the Aug. 23 quake:
Go to the Spotsylvania County Disaster Recovery Center at 8960 Courthouse Road or the Louisa County Disaster Recovery Center in the former Video 2000 store in Triangle Plaza Shopping Center in Louisa County.
Call 800/621-3362, or 800/462-7585 if you are hearing-impaired.
To apply for SBA disaster loans:
Go to either disaster recovery center.
For questions or assistance with SBA loans, visit a center, call 800/659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.