MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- March 11 is approaching fast, and Alabamians who suffered damages from Hurricane Katrina should register before the deadline has passed, say state and federal officials.
Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage from the hurricane are urged to call the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teleregistration number toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired.
Both lines are open from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (CST) seven days a week until further notice.
March 11 is also the deadline for returning the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application. If an applicant is not eligible for a loan, they may be eligible for a grant.
Applicants with access to a computer can also register online by entering the FEMA website at www.fema.gov. Look for and click on the words “Apply online (Online Individual Assistance Center)” located at the top right side of the page.
Alabamians who live in the following disaster-declared counties are eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA and the state of Alabama: Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Mobile, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Washington.
Those who were affected by Katrina may qualify for help under a wide-range of federal and state programs. These include temporary disaster housing assistance; SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses; and assistance for disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
To date, close to 115,000 applications for assistance have been received by FEMA and the state of Alabama.
“If you don’t register, you will miss out on possible disaster aid. Call FEMA today before it’s too late,” said Michael Bolch, federal coordinating officer. “Whether you need help in the rebuilding process, or you need help in finding suitable housing, you must register to find out if you can receive assistance.”
Those who have already registered and wish to update their registration information, including current address and telephone number, can do so by calling the Helpline or going to the FEMA website. It is important that FEMA has the most to up-to-date information to stay in touch with all applicants and to disburse disaster aid to approved applicants.