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One Month Left to Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance

MONTGOMERY, Ala. Residents of Clarke, Dallas, Marengo, Mobile, Perry, Washington and Wilcox counties who had uninsured or underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Zeta are encouraged to apply for FEMA disaster assistance before the Feb. 8 deadline.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program provides grants that can help pay for temporary housing and for home repairs for an applicant’s primary home. FEMA does not provide grants for second homes.

Grants are intended to help make the dwelling safe, sanitary and functional.  Survivors should not expect FEMA grants will restore their hurricane-damaged home to pre-disaster condition.

Applicants whose homes are insured should file an insurance claim, but don’t wait for the insurance settlement before applying with FEMA. Applicants need to document their claims with photographs, repair estimates and receipts, proof of ownership, and proof of where they lived at the time of the storm. They should also submit insurance documentation to show if the coverage is not enough to meet their disaster-related needs. FEMA cannot pay for damage covered by insurance or duplicate benefits from another source. 

FEMA grants do not have to be repaid and may also cover personal property loss, childcare, medical or dental care and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. FEMA also provides referrals to other agencies that may be able to help.

Apply for FEMA disaster assistance by downloading the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet, go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). Operators can also answer questions about applications already submitted. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Additional funds may be available by applying to the U.S. Small Business Administration for a low-interest disaster loan. For more information, visit DisasterLoan.sba.gov or email FOCE-Help@SBA.gov about SBA’s disaster assistance program. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. The SBA filing deadline to return applications for property damage is also Monday, Feb. 8.

For more information on Hurricane Zeta in Alabama, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4573.

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