ATLANTA – Homeowners and renters in Lee County, Alabama, may now apply for disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from the March 3 severe storms, straight line winds and tornadoes.
Lee County was designated for Individual Assistance on March 5, 2019. To be eligible for disaster aid, storm damage and losses from the severe storms and tornadoes must have occurred March 3. Disaster survivor assistance specialists are helping people register for assistance in Lee County.
If you have a homeowner’s policy, file your insurance claim immediately before applying for disaster assistance. Get the process started quickly. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin.
If you cannot return to your home, or you are unable to live in your home, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) to determine what federal, state, local or voluntary agency assistance may be available to you.
If you can return to your home and it is safe, has working power, water, and sewer or septic service visit DisasterAssistance.gov to determine if state, voluntary and local organizations in your community can address any unmet needs.
“Working together with our state, local, and federal partners is an important part of helping Alabamans with recovery and rebuilding,” said Brian Hastings, Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. “We are saddened by the loss of life and destruction in Lee County, but knowing we have additional assistance and support, we will get through this, together. The disaster declaration is a huge step in the recovery process and will help the citizens of Lee County move toward a sense of normalcy and a better tomorrow.”
Disaster assistance may provide temporary help and a place to stay while you build your own recovery plan. Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may also be able to help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who may be underinsured may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
“We’re working closely with Alabama EMA and voluntary agencies to get survivors the help they need. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are in affected areas of Lee County to help connect survivors with disaster recovery resources,” said Gerard Stolar, FEMA’s chief coordinating official in Alabama.
Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. If referred, applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov or by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lee County was also designated for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to reimburse the state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B).
FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.