MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama survivors have received more than $18 million in FEMA grants for damage from Hurricane Zeta. With all the priorities of getting life back to normal, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re spending money on.
FEMA offers a word of caution: Spend the money wisely. FEMA grants must be used only for expenses related to Zeta.
Survivors can expect a letter from FEMA that explains the many ways the funding could be used. Read the letter carefully. If you receive a grant, keep receipts from all purchases for three years to show how money was spent. Disaster grants should not be used for travel, entertainment, regular living expenses or any expenses not related to the disaster.
Approved uses for disaster grants include:
- Home repairs for owner-occupied primary homes (e.g., buildings, water, electrical and sewage systems); FEMA does not provide grants for second homes.
- Rental assistance for alternate housing while you are displaced from your primary home;
- Medical care for an injury caused by the disaster;
- Personal property to repair or replace damaged items, including specialized tools for work;
- Transportation, funeral, medical, dental and childcare;
- Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster.
If you received a grant for damage from Hurricane Sally and your home or property had additional damage from Hurricane Zeta, you will also want to apply for FEMA assistance for Zeta.
Residents of Clarke, Dallas, Marengo, Mobile, Perry, Washington and Wilcox counties who suffered damage from Zeta but have not yet applied to FEMA for disaster assistance have until midnight tonight, Feb. 8, to apply.
There are several ways to apply:
- Download FEMA’s mobile app. For information go to: www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
- Visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should provide FEMA with their specific phone number assigned to that service.
For referrals to Alabama’s health and human service agencies as well as community organizations, dial 211, text 888-421-1266, or chat with referral specialists via www.211connectsalabama.org.