Washington, D.C. >> The U.S. Small Business Administration is looking to add to its staff to help with the agency’s disaster recovery efforts in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The Small Business Administration is staffing up due to the increased flow of disaster loan applications from homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. The response to the two storms is expected to be “extensive and lengthy,” according to a spokeswoman for the agency.
Typically, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance has a staff of about 1,000 working at the disaster field operations centers in Buffalo, N.Y.; Herndon, Va.; Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas, Texas; and Sacramento, Calif.
Most of the temporary jobs being added will be located at one of the disaster field operations centers, or in areas affected by the recent hurricanes. Bilingual language skills are a plus for those applying.
“It was clear that in order to respond quickly to the demand for SBA disaster loans after these massive storms that caused extensive property losses and economic injury, the agency needed to staff up,” said Carol Chastang, Small Business Administration public affairs specialist.
The Small Business Administration is seeking enough staff to respond to its customer service, administrative, property damage verification, loan processing, IT, legal and public information needs, according to Chastang.
The temporary federal jobs are expected to run through the end of the year. The temporary staff will be employees of the Small Business Administration.
This is not the first time the Small Business Administration has taken on temporary employees to assist in the wake of hurricane damage. The agency also did temporary hiring following the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes (Katrina, Rita and Wilma) and did the same after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
For more information about open positions, as well as details on salaries and how to apply for the openings visit www.sba.gov/disaster and click on the “view jobs” tab.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport, Texas on Aug. 25, then stalled off the coast, which resulted in record amounts of rain in Houston and surrounding areas — causing severe flooding. The storm made another landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, resulting in flooding there as well. Remnants of the storm also caused damage in Alabama and Tennessee.
Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, after inflicting heavy damage in the Caribbean. After making landfall on Cudjoe Key, Fla., the storm moved toward the Florida peninsula — making landfall in Marco Island and then again in Naples. As the storm progressed, there was extensive damage from wind across the state, as well as storm surge. In addition to storm surge flooding in Florida, Charleston, S.C. also experienced flooding.
Meanwhile, Florida Power & Light Co. reported Monday that it had restored service to more than 4.3 million customers — about 97 percent of the 4.4 million customers impacted by Hurricane Irma. Residents of the lower Keys who evacuated, were allowed to begin returning home over the weekend.
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