Birmingham, AL -- With the upcoming holidays uppermost on the minds of Alabamians, one important act should not be forgotten in the seasonal rush.
Alabama residents and business owners in the 29 declared counties who suffered losses from the Nov. 5-12 severe storms and tornadoes have only until Jan. 13, 2003, to register for federal/state disaster assistance, recovery officials said today.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not already done so to register for assistance as soon as possible by calling, toll free, 800-621-3362. Persons with speech or hearing impairments may use the TTY line, 800-462-7585. While there are a number of disaster assistance programs for eligible residents, people may be considered for them only after they register.
"We want people to understand that this is merely an application deadline," Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Butler said. "For individuals who have already registered, their cases will continue to be processed. It's just that we won't be accepting any new applications after the Jan. 13 deadline."
State Coordinating Officer Lee Helms said that more than a thousand Alabamians have called the toll-free line to register for help that can include grants to help pay for temporary home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses and low-interest SBA loans to cover residential and business losses not compensated by insurance.
The 29 affected counties are Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Cullman, Dale, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.