Early this morning, President Obama declared a major disaster in Alabama as a result of the severe storms and tornadoes that began on April 15.
This makes federal funding available to individuals and business owners in Cullman, DeKalb, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marshall, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties, which can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans. Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments in all 67 counties in the state as they continue with debris removal and emergency protective measures, such as providing shelter and meals.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance today by:
- registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/,
- registering through a web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by
- calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
As you may remember from soon after the storms struck, President Obama authorized an emergency declaration for Alabama, another avenue to provide federal assistance to support the state and local response efforts. At the President’s direction, Administrator Fugate has been on the ground in Alabama since yesterday morning, in both Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, and will be with the President in Alabama today. Deputy Administrator Rich Serino was on the ground in Georgia yesterday, and will be in Mississippi, with Governor Barbour, today.
In all of the areas affected by the severe storms and tornadoes, we continue to work closely with the entire emergency management team, especially the state emergency management agencies in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. As President Obama said just after the storms hit, the federal government “stands ready to continue to help the people of Alabama and all citizens affected by these storms”.
For the latest updates on our role, check out the Severe Storms / Tornadoes category on the blog. And if your area is at risk for severe storms and tornadoes in the future, you can take steps to get prepared at http://www.ready.gov/.