PELHAM, Ala. -- Almost three weeks after tornadoes struck Alabama, more than $571,000 in state and federal aid has been approved to help those affected by the storms.
More than 800 survivors have contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help or information regarding disaster assistance. Many people are seeking housing assistance from FEMA because their primary homes have been damaged or destroyed.
Survivors who do not need FEMA disaster assistance or have additional needs are referred to partner agencies such as the Small Business Administration, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Homeowners and renters, as well as businesses, may be referred to the SBA. Other callers may be interested in disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling or legal aid.
The following is a snapshot of the disaster recovery effort as of Feb. 8:
- 144 households have already been approved for FEMA grants that assist with temporary rentals and personal property loss.
- More than $488,500 has been approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- Nearly $83,000 has been approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- 338 home inspections have been completed.
- 455 visits to disaster recovery centers have been made by people affected by the disaster.
- 5 disaster recovery centers are currently open where survivors can get help from FEMA and SBA.
No matter the degree of loss or insurance coverage, survivors are urged to apply for help. They can use any of the following methods:
- Call 800-621-FEMA (3362), which is video relay service accessible, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Assistance is available in most languages. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (TTY) 800-462-7585.
- Go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Go to m.fema.gov with a tablet or smartphone.
Homeowners, renters and businesses that need disaster help may contact the Small Business Administration directly at the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They may apply for disaster loans at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.