FEMA and SBA join forces to help Valdosta recover from Idalia

FEMA and the Small Business Administration have opened a Disaster Recovery Center at the Lowndes Civic Center.
Posted at 6:33 PM, Sep 18, 2023
  • FEMA and SBA have been functioning as a Disaster Recovery Center since Sunday.
  • The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance and SBA physical damage loans is November 6.
  • The deadline for SBA's economic support loans is June 2024.


FEMA and the Small Business Administration are joining forces in South Georgia. Right now, they're working to help Lowndes, Cook, and Glynn counties recover from Hurricane Idalia.

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta. Both of those agencies are set up here at the Lowndes County Civic Center. It's a place where storm survivors can for help.

"Our neighbors have been helpful."

Idalia damaged Nancy Griffin's home nearly 3 weeks ago. Now, she's taking all the help she can get.

"There are people who have had it worse than me, and they're definitely going to need more help."

That help can be found at the Civic Center. Nikki Gaskins Campbell is with FEMA. She told me while insurance is the first line of defense in disasters, FEMA can take care of those without enough coverage.

"Your roof for example, if your insurance is going to cover your roof damages, you can't turn around to FEMA and then say 'Okay FEMA, what are you going to help me with.' We want to know what your insurance is going to cover.' "

Meanwhile, Sharon Gadbois is with SBA.

"Well, lots of property owners had damage."

She explained that in addition to businesses, SBA helps homeowners and renters.

"They also circulate money in the economy. And so, if they're, if they're busy repairing, replacing or rebuilding their home back to pre existing conditions, they may not have the extra funds they once had."

It's help Griffin told me she's glad to see coming to the Azalea City.

FEMA and SBA will be at the Lowndes County Civic Center for assistance until further notice. I'm your Valdosta neighborhood reporter, Malia Thomas, ABC27.