What Kind of Assistance Can FEMA Provide to Alabama Tornado Survivors

Release Date:
January 24, 2023

Alabama homeowners and renters in Autauga, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, and Hale counties who were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes that occurred Jan. 12, 2023, may be eligible for FEMA grants for temporary lodging, basic home repairs, personal property losses and other eligible expenses.

Rental Assistance for Temporary Housing

FEMA may be able to provide rent, including a security deposit if your primary residence was made uninhabitable and requires repairs to make the residence habitable or inaccessible by the tornadoes. The assistance includes essential utilities such as electricity and water.

Lodging Expense Reimbursement

Under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, lodging expenses for hotels, motels, or other reasonable short-term lodging may be eligible for reimbursement if an applicant is displaced from their primary residence and FEMA verifies that a primary residence is uninhabitable or inaccessible due to the Jan. 12 severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes.

Major Repairs and Out-of-Pocket Expenses

FEMA’s Individuals and Household Program assistance is intended to meet the basic needs of your household, not to restore your home and all your personal property items to a pre-tornado condition.

  • “Housing Assistance” covers repairs to structural parts of your home. This includes windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, utilities (electrical, plumbing and gas systems), and entrance/exit ways. FEMA may also reimburse for repair or replacement of your furnace, well and septic system.
  • “Other Needs Assistance” may provide reimbursement to homeowners and renters for such uninsured or underinsured out-of-pocket tornado-related expenses as:
    • Medical and dental expenses; funeral and burial costs; repair, cleaning, or replacement of clothing; household furniture and appliances; specialized tools used in your occupation; childcare, educational materials, moving, storage and other necessary expenses related to the Jan. 12 storms and tornadoes.
    • Your personally owned and registered, disaster-damaged cars and trucks may also be eligible for repair or replacement by FEMA.

Apply to FEMA

To be eligible for any FEMA Individual Assistance program, you must apply to FEMA. Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA mobile app for mobile devices, or call toll-free 800-621-3362. The helpline is open, and help is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time in most languages. If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

For an accessible video on how to apply for assistance go to, youtube.com/watch?v= WZGpWI2RCNw.

For information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4684. Follow FEMA on Twitter at FEMA Region 4 (@femaregion4) / Twitter and at facebook.com/fema.

Last updated January 24, 2023