BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Five months after the April storms and tornadoes in Alabama, 99 percent of debris has been cleared from communities and more than $170 million in individual federal disaster assistance is helping survivors rebuild their lives.
Recovery by the numbers
• $72 million approved for assistance through the Individuals and Households program; of that,
o $52.5 million for housing assistance;
o $19.5 million to cover vital disaster-related needs, such as funeral expenses and essential personal possessions;
• $101 million approved from the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest disaster loans to eligible homeowners, renters or business owners;
• $85 million set aside to reimburse communities for the removal of debris, emergency protective measures and the repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of eligible public facilities and infrastructure;
• Approximately $88 million set aside for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program managed by the state, which funds measures designed to save lives and property during future disasters.
Focusing on the long term
“We’ve taken huge steps in the last five months toward recovery,” said Jeff Byard, state coordinating officer for AEMA. “After removing nearly all the estimated 10 million cubic yards of debris, our focus now is on long term recovery. Our partnership with FEMA, the local governments and others remains solid, and we will see this through.”
To date, 11 Alabama communities have asked to participate in the locally-driven Long Term Community Recovery (LTCR) program.
A total of 39 meetings have taken place in the LTCR communities, as they move through the stages of developing recovery plans unique to each community’s needs and wishes.
“The great progress made in this state is a testament to Alabama’s and FEMA’s commitment to a ‘whole community’ approach to disaster recovery,” said Joe M. Girot, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. “It’s neighbors helping neighbors, the private sector working with the local, state and federal governments, the volunteers, the faith-based groups – all of us coming together as one team with one common goal of rebuilding this great state safer, stronger and more resilient.”
Stay in touch
Survivors living in FEMA-provided manufactured housing units must continue to work with their FEMA caseworker to maintain their eligibility every 30 days by showing they are working toward a permanent housing plan.
People with questions about disaster assistance funds should call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Phone lines are available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.
Or. visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
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