Governor Mills Urges Maine People and Businesses Impacted by December Storm to Apply for Federal Disaster Relief

Financial assistance and low-interest loans available to help eligible homeowners, renters, and businesses and non-profits in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties

Governor Janet Mills is urging Maine people and businesses impacted by the December 17-21, 2023 storm and flooding to apply for financial assistance and low-interest disaster loans to help them recover from the extreme weather event.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) Teams have arrived in Maine to help impacted individuals and families in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties apply for Federal assistance that may help them pay for temporary housing, home repairs, and other needs resulting from the storm.

Low-interest loans are also available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help impacted businesses of all sizes - as well as eligible homeowners, renters, and non-profit organizations - repair or replace property damage resulting from the storm. Businesses may also be eligible for working capital loans.

"I urge eligible Maine people and businesses to take advantage of Federal assistance that can help them repair or replace property damaged by the severe December storm," said Governor Janet Mills. "We will continue to work closely with FEMA to help Maine people recover from the recent storms as we also strive to make our communities more resilient to extreme weather and climate change in the future."

In the coming days, FEMA and the State of Maine are expected to announce the opening of several Disaster Recovery Centers where impacted people can learn about disaster assistance programs, apply for disaster assistance, check the status of FEMA applications, understand FEMA notices or letter, meet with Small Business Administration agents, and get referrals to other agencies, among other services.

Additionally, FEMA DSA Teams are going door-to-door, canvassing neighborhoods in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford and Somerset counties, helping impacted residents to register for FEMA disaster assistance. DSA Teams can also help survivors update their information and assist with referrals to voluntary agency partners. Residents are encouraged to ask for federal identification before providing any personal information.

Impacted residents can apply for FEMA federal assistance by visiting

Homeowners, renters, and businesses can apply for low-interest disaster loans at

Assistance available to impacted individuals includes:

  • FEMA Financial Assistance: Grants that can help cover the cost of temporary housing, home repairs, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses, medical, dental, funeral expenses. Applicants should file insurance claims as soon as possible. Assistance cannot duplicate coverage for losses covered by insurance, so the agency will need to see what your insurance covers to process your application. FEMA financial assistance is available to eligible individuals in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties.
  • Low-interest Disaster Loans for Homeowners and Renters: Homeowners and renters may be eligible to receive a low-interest loan from the SBA to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles. Disaster loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $100,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates are as low as 2.688 percent. SBA Disaster Loans are available to eligible individuals in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties.

Assistance available to impacted businesses includes:

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans: Low-interest loans from the SBA are available to help businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible. Business Physical Disaster Loans are available to eligible businesses in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties. Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses and 3.25 percent for non-profits.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Low-interest working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. Loans are available to eligible businesses in in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties. Businesses that experienced economic injury from the storm in the contiguous counties of Aroostook, Cumberland, Lincoln, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Waldo, and York may also apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Interest on SBA Disaster Loans does not begin to accrue, and monthly payments are not due, until 12 months from the date of the initial disbursement. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

Applicants do not need to wait for face-to-face contact with a FEMA representative, and can apply for assistance online at or by downloading the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Those wishing to apply for a SBA Disaster Loans who do not have online or mobile access may call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or emailing for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

Governor Mills requested that President Biden provide direct financial assistance to impacted Maine people and businesses as part of her request last month for a Major Disaster Declaration. President Biden approved the Governor's request this week, making individual assistance available to Maine people as the result of a natural disaster for the first time since 2008.

Last month, Federal officials determined that the level of damage across Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Somerset Counties met the statutory financial threshold to make individual financial assistance available. Maine will receive federal assistance to help five other impacted counties - Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, and Washington - repair public infrastructure impacted by the storm.

Assistance made available by the President's Proclamation is limited to the December storm and its aftermath and does not cover the back-to-back January 10 and January 13 weather events that caused significant coastal flooding. At the direction of Governor Mills, MEMA has initiated the Major Disaster Declaration process. If the damage from these storms meet the financial statutory threshold exceeding the State's ability to respond, Governor Mills will seek another Federal Disaster Declaration.

The Mills Administration's Maine Flood Resources & Assistance Hub contains links to helpful information, resources, and assistance for Maine people who have impacted by flooding and damages from recent weather.