BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabamians are responding to the message that federal assistance is here following the devastating tornadoes that struck the state. The number of weekly registrants rose by 32 percent for a total of nearly 64,000 individuals and households filing for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the first two weeks.
A total of nearly $36 million has been approved through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s low-interest disaster loan program.
The following numbers, compiled May 13, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:
- $25.3 million for Housing Assistance grants to help with recovery rental expenses and home repair costs;
- $9.4 million for Other Needs Assistance to cover essential disaster-related needs, such as medical expenses and lost personal possessions.
- $1.2 million approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest loans to eligible homeowners, renters or business owners.
- 33,659 damaged homes and property have been inspected (84 percent of requests);
- 11,418 visits have been made to one of the 28 disaster recovery centers located in designated counties. An average of 1,300 survivors visit disaster recovery centers daily.
- 42 counties declared for individual assistance.
- 77,381 survivors in Alabama have received food assistance through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the first two days of the five-day registration period.
- 32,049 survivors took part in the program on day three.
FEMA continues to work with volunteer agencies and the private sector to speed the recovery effort. But those affected by the severe storm need to register with FEMA for disaster aid.
No matter the degree of loss or insurance, survivors are urged to apply for help. They can use the following methods:
- By phone, call 800-621-FEMA from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time. Operators are multilingual. For the speech or hearing impaired, the number is TTY 800-462-7585.
- By computer, go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov.
Recovery officials urge all Alabama residents who have registered for assistance to stay in close touch with FEMA throughout the recovery process, especially during the first weeks after registering when FEMA housing inspectors must contact applicants to view damages. Those with mobile phones should provide that number to FEMA during the registration and/or a good contact number.
Affected survivors and business owners in the 42 designated counties may apply for assistance. Those counties are: Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington and Winston.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens a...