MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the northern Gulf Coast and led to a federal disaster declaration for 22 Alabama counties. In the almost 10 months that followed, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency have approved more than $690 million dollars in disaster assistance to Alabamians, and to Katrina evacuees from other Gulf Coast states who sought refuge here.
"The challenge to house Katrina evacuees in Alabama was unprecedented and costly," said FEMA Transitional Recovery Office Manager Jeff Byard. "Yet, we continue to assist families according to their individual plans as they move from temporary housing to permanent living situations."
"As the 2006 hurricane season progresses, we strongly urge everyone - whether or not they live near the Gulf - to prepare for potential storms," adds Bruce Baughman, Alabama state coordinating officer. "This means having a hurricane plan and a 72- hour ready-to-go emergency kit for family and pets."
Federal Assistance in Alabama since August 29, 2005:
$126.6 million in assistance to individuals and families
- 36,375 individuals and families received housing assistance totaling $89.2 million. This includes $63.4 million in rental assistance.
- 30,142 Katrina survivors received $37.3 million for other essential needs.
$132 million in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
- The SBA approved $93 million in loans to 2,444 homeowners and renters:
- $32 million to 326 businesses,
- $6.9 million in loans to 77 small business owners for working capital and repairs.
$376 million was approved for the following
- Public Assistance (PA) approved more than $99 million for infrastructure costs, debris removal, protective measures such as emergency services and law enforcement, road and bridge repair and the restoration of public utilities.
- FEMA approved a total of $5.6 million for crisis counseling services.
- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) disbursed $16 million in initial flood damage claims.
- Alabama has received more than $1 million in Disaster Unemployment Assistance for individuals who lost their jobs as a result of Katrina and were self-employed, or who were not covered by regular unemployment assistance.
- More than $254 million was obligated for mission assignments allowing for services, equipment and personnel from many federal agencies, the American Red Cross and other volunteer organizations. These services included the use of military aircraft for rapid needs assessment, immediate crisis counseling, interpreters for non-English speaking individuals, and shipments of 280 truckloads of ice, 186 truckloads of water, 103 truckloads of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), 11 truckloads of generators, 27 truckloads of cots and 32 truckloads of blankets.
Other disaster assistance:
- Today approximately 3,939 Katrina survivors live in temporary housing facilities in Alabama. This housing includes 1,243 travel trailers on commercial and private property and on other FEMA leased sites.
- 112,865 Alabama residents applied for various federal and state assistance programs.
- 40,222 individuals sought services at 31 State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
- Services for the aging were provided to 1,954 individuals.
- 99.9 percent or 95,454 housing inspections in Alabama have been completed.
- 256,333 Katrina survivors received food stamps issued by Alabama Department of Human Resources. This represents $29.3 million, received through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- 3.41 million cubic yards of storm-related...