MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama residents eligible for Individual Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency need to know that the help they may receive will be based on their own unique circumstances and needs.
“While not everyone may qualify, our ultimate goal is for anyone who suffered damages from the tornadoes, storms, straight-line winds and flooding to receive the maximum assistance he or she qualifies for,” said Albie Lewis, federal coordinating officer for FEMA’s disaster operations in Alabama.
Disaster assistance to individuals is based on a number of factors, and FEMA and Alabama Emergency Management Agency specialists are trained to seek out and coordinate the eligible assistance from a number of sources. Assistance might include direct financial grants, low-interest loans, charitable contributions from voluntary agencies and/or other resources that will help residents who are recovering from the disaster.
The unique needs of everyone who registers are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the types of assistance that are best suited to that individual registrant. The process, and final assistance determination, is set by federal regulation and is strictly confidential. Realistically, not everyone who registers will qualify for assistance.
Assistance could include grants to help pay for temporary housing needs, essential home repairs and other disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also may be available to cover uncompensated residential and business losses.
The first step in the process is registering with FEMA. This is true, whether the loss is large or small and whether or not an individual anticipates being eligible for federal assistance.
There are three ways to register – go to www.disasterassistance.gov, to m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT; multilingual operators are available.