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$5,000 grant funds for small business start up, enhancement, and/or rebuilding efforts
Applications are received at MARK, reviewed for completeness then go before a committee of community members and business owners and reviewed for funding. These are accepted on an ongoing basis and reviewed approximately every month based on availability of panel members for review participation. Click Here for a Small Business Development Grant Application. For a list of review panel members please contact Peg Ellsworth, executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Farmers can qualify for low-interest disaster loans - July 2012
WASHINGTON – United States Department of Agriculture has cut interest rates on emergency loans in areas devastated by natural disaster. The current rate of 3.75% will be lowered to 2.25% and the USDA will simplify the process of issuing disaster declarations, resulting in a 40% reduction in processing time for counties affected by disaster. After Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack to lower interest rates for Emergency Loans to make it less expensive for struggling farmers across New York to recover and rebuild.
“After disaster strikes, we should be making it easier, not harder for farmers who have suffered severe damages to their fields, their crops, and their livelihoods, to get up and running again,” said Schumer. “Lowering the interest rates on emergency loans and speeding up processing time will be essential to recovery and could quickly put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of farmers. I’m pleased that USDA Secretary Vilsack has heeded that call, so that farmers will have more money to spend rebuilding barns, buying seed, or purchasing new livestock when disaster strikes.”
"Our farmers took some of the absolute worst of last year's natural disasters. When our farms suffer, our entire economy suffers," Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.
USDA’s Farm Service agency provides emergency loans to help farmers recover from production and physical losses in floods or other natural disasters. These loans can help finance the replacement of property, cover production costs in the year that a disaster occurred, pay living expenses, and help cover other debts that can’t be paid off due to the disaster. Farmers who live in a county, or contiguous county, declared by the President or the Secretary of Agriculture as a disaster area and who suffered 30% loss in livestock or crop production are eligible for loans.
Farmers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses up to a maximum of $500,000. The loans are typically repaid over a period of one to seven years, but particularly hard hit farms could have up to 20 years to repay the loans. Loans taken out for physical losses to real estate are typically repaid in 30 years. New York farmers have eight months after the disaster declaration to apply for the loans.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR FLOOD RECOVERY
VOLUNTEERS, BUSINESSES AND HOME OWNERS
Here's the link to view Randy Creamer's presentation:
Mud-out Cleaning Procedures
1. Explain to the homeowner what we do when we mud out a home.
2. Explain to the homeowner the health hazard that may be present if the interior walls have had water and mud between them. Explain that the type of mold that grows from floodwaters and mud can cause serious health problems. Remember to get the owner to sign a work release (see Appendix Two).
3. Walk carefully through the structure. Floors may be slippery or weakened.
4. Allow homeowner to decide which articles are to be salvaged and which are to be discarded.
5. Be sensitive to homeowner’s loss, which will most often be everything due to the contamination of the water, mud, and other substances.
6. Shovel out mud and silt before it dries.
7. Use dollies and hand trucks to remove heavy items.
8. Mattresses and upholstered furniture should be removed and discarded.
9. Remove all built-in cabinets if the water line is above the counter top.
10. Remove and dispose of all floor coverings down to the subfloor.
11. After all articles are removed, determine how much wall removal is necessary.
12. The general guideline is to cut and remove walls 12 inches above flood level.
13. Power / pressure wash entire area beginning at the flood level and work downward if there is a basement. Use a wet vacuum, mops, squeegees, and brooms to remove excess water.
14. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and supplemental heat, if available, to aid the drying process.
15. Disinfect entire area beginning at flood level. Use a garden sprayer to lightly spray affected area. Use an appropriate mold remediation product.
16. Allow the area to dry thoroughly before beginning repairs. Drying time may take from a few weeks to several months. Again, fans, dehumidifiers, and supplemental heat may hasten this process. Confirm with local officials (building department/inspector) what moisture level should be reached before beginning to rebuild.
17. To sanitize: use one tablespoon bleach to one gallon water. This is recommended for dishes and does not need to be rinsed.
18. To disinfect: apply appropriate and acceptable mold remediation product with garden sprayer.
In assessing your own situation and making decisions about safety, crews must be the primary concern. Know your limitations. Many well-intentioned volunteers have been injured or killed during operations simply because they did not pay attention to their own physical and mental limitations. You must know your limits and monitor your condition. Fatigue leads to injury.
Buddy System – Always work in pairs or in a group.
Hazards – Be alert for hazards, such as sharp objects, dust, hazardous materials, power lines, leaking natural & LP gas, high water, fire hazards, and unstable structures. If water is present, check the depth before entering. Never enter rising water.
Safety Equipment – Use appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE).
· Hard hat
· Goggles / Safety glasses
· Appropriate respirator (N95)
· Work gloves
· Rubber boots
· Heavy duty rubber gloves
· Disposable ‘Tyvek’ type coveralls to protect regular work clothes.
1. Confirm that all utilities have been turned off before entering a damaged building, especially in wet areas. Stand on dry area while turning electrical switches off in wet areas.
2. When entering a flooded area, assume the area is contaminated. Graves may have been opened; septic and sewer systems will overflow; household cleansers as well as other products often found around a home pose a health risk. LP gas tanks may be loose and leaking. Remember, LP gas gathers close to the ground.
3. Normally stepping on a rusty nail would bring the risk of tetanus. In a flood situation, the nail could also carry hepatitisor potentially deadly diseases. Therefore, anyone responding to a flood disaster must have a current tetanusshot and should consider getting hepatitis shots.
4. It is common in disasters to encounter wild and domestic animals that may be rabid. Snakes, and possibly even alligators, may be in spaces you would not expect them. Never reach into a space you cannot see into. Be cautious of dogs and cats wandering or approaching the area.
5. Examine structures for damage before entering or working – floors, overhead, walls, loose objects that may fall. If there is question about the integrity of a building, wait until local building authorities have inspected the building before entering.
6. Ventilate closed rooms or buildings before entering to allow escaped gas or foul odors to escape and continue to provide ventilation while working. Do not linger in areas where gas fumes are present. Be especially careful about flames or sparks where fumes are detected.
7. Make certain you have good footing when using ladders and scaffolds. Be extra cautious in wet or slick areas.
8. Remove ladders, scaffolds, or ropes when not in use to prevent children or others from climbing. Do not leave tools and equipment unattended. Guard against leaving piles of lumber, furniture, clothing, debris, etc. where children might play and risk injury.
9. In flooded areas – basements, floors, outdoor pools – probe ahead for holes or submerged objects. Use a wood pole with a dry handle.
10. Avoid fatigue. Do not work on ladders or scaffolds or operate machinery when tired or on medications that cause drowsiness.
11. Wear proper clothing, i.e., boots in wet areas, heavy shoes in construction areas, gloves, hard hats, long pants and sleeves. Protect yourself against the sun or cold. Wear safety equipment as required or provided.
12. Provide sufficient lighting in work areas – daylight or artificial. Look first before entering areas. Check for glass, nails, or other sharp and protruding objects.
13. Be aware of where other volunteers are located and be concerned for their safety before throwing something out a window or using equipment.
14. Assume fallen electrical lines are live until notified by utility companies that current is off (also phone service and cable TV). Continue to use caution because of possible improper use of electric generators in nearby homes.
15. Prevent health hazards by cleaning areas where decay, mildew, or chemicals odors may result from wetness or perishables, such as food.
16. Only experienced persons should operate power machinery. Follow safety requirements when refueling is taking place. Never operate gas power equipment indoors.
17. Designate a first aid coordinator.
18. Make safety and hygiene a priority. Get adequate rest, fluids, and nourishment so you can achieve maximum effectiveness.
19. Personal cleansing
a. Take boots and gloves to assigned area to be cleaned. Also, clean equipment (tool, shovels, etc.).
b. Keep clean clothes in a plastic bag at housing site.
c. Take regular showers and dress in clean clothes.
d. If appropriate cleaner is not available, bleach solution (2 tablespoons of bleach per one gallon of water) can be used to clean your body. Premix in marked gallon jugs.
e. Place contaminated clothes in a plastic bag and returnclothes to designated location to be laundered in disinfectant–very important.
20. Lifting should always be done in a way that protects the back from strain or other injury. To lift safely:
· Bend your knees and squat.
· Keep the load close to your body.
· Keep your back straight.
· Push up with your legs.
Wear suitable rain gear and rubber boots while spraying or pressure washing.
Use rubber gloves and wear goggles when handling bleach and other disinfectants.
Wear heavy-duty rubber gloves with work gloves over them.
Work within your strengths and limitations – physical (strength and health), emotional (stress management), and mental (knowledge and skills).
Use hand sanitizer before consuming anything or wash hands with bleach and water mix. (one tablespoon bleach to one gallon water).
Disinfect tools used each day upon completion of work. At the end of the day, dispose of all used mop heads and sponges.
Do not drink water in area until verified safe.
Eat regularly and increase water intake according to heat and workload. Take snacks and bottled water to site. Take appropriate precautions to clean hands before getting snacks, water, and meals.
Rest when you can. Some people can work longer than others. Gauge yourself. Do not be intimidated by what others do if it affects your strength and usefulness. Sleeping may be difficult. Try to arrange what is best for you.
Dispose of any articles that are punctured (such as gloves and boots).
Do not open refrigerators and freezers. Duct tape doors and keep them shut.
If you are unfamiliar with motorized tools, do not attempt to use them until properly trained.
If basement is flooded, start pumping the water in stages (pump about 1/3 of the water each day).
Make safety a priority so that you can achieve maximum effectiveness, not only for you but also your team.
Procedure for Draining a Basement
Water in the ground outside a building is pushing hard against the outside of the basement walls. The water inside the basement is pushing right back.
If the basement is drained too quickly, the pressure outside the walls will be greater than the pressure inside the walls, which may make the walls and floor crack and collapse, causing serious damage.
Follow these steps to pump water out of a basement without causing damage:
1. Never go into a basement that has water standing in it unless you are sure the electricity is off.
2. When the floodwaters are no longer covering the ground, you can start pumping the water out of the basement.
3. Pump the water level down to two to three feet. Mark the level and wait overnight.
4. Check the water level the next day. If the water went back up or covered your mark, it is still too early to drain the basement. Wait 24 hours. Then pump the water down to two to three feet again. Check the level the next day.
5. When the water stops going back up, pump down another two to three feet and wait overnight. Repeat steps four and five until all the water is pumped out of the basement.
Yesterday, President Obama announced a new initiative called Quick Pay that will cut the time it takes for Federal agencies to pay small businesses for contracted services. Now small businesses like yours can get paid faster for products and services provided to the Federal government, allowing small business contractors to invest back into the economy and create more job growth.
Read the Presidential Memorandum here.
Quick Pay will cut payment processing time in half, from 30 days to 15 days, so cash will flow to small businesses faster once the government has received the proper invoices from small business contractors. Last year the Department of Energy awarded over $7 billion in prime and sub contracts to small businesses. The Federal Government as a whole pays small businesses nearly $100 billion each year for goods and services. With Quick Pay, agencies are encouraged to take all reasonable steps to make payments as promptly as possible, improving cash flow for small businesses and providing them with a more predictable stream of resources.
As Small Business Administrator Karen Mills said, now small business contractors “can put that money towards working capital, expanding their businesses, marketing their products, and creating jobs. Their financial footing gets stronger – permanently.” Quick Pay is expected to benefit tens of thousands of small businesses.
This initiative is part of a comprehensive set of actions that the Administration is undertaking to help companies grow and create jobs, improving American competitiveness. Last week, Obama proposed the American Jobs Act, which contains several provisions to help create more jobs. Learn more about the American Jobs Act here.