Federal Aid for Alabama Totals More than $27 Million Following Flood Disaster
It wasn’t surprising to learn that Alabama had made the Top Ten States Most at Risk for a Natural Disaster by Bankrate and NBC. Alabama has had its fair share of disasters in recent years including the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the 2011 Tornado outbreak in North Alabama. And now six weeks after floods, severe storms and tornadoes ravaged the state, federal aid for Alabama totals more than $27 million according to FEMA. The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly $10 million through its low-interest disaster loan program.
FEMA provided the following snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery as of June 12:
- $14.5 million for Housing Assistance grants to help with recovery rental expenses and home repair costs.
- $3.1 million for Other Needs Assistance to cover essential disaster-related needs, such as medical expenses and lost personal possessions.
- $9.6 million approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest loans to eligible homeowners, renters or business owners.
- 13,312 damaged homes and property have been inspected (98 percent of requests).
- 4,539 visits have been made to the 11 disaster recovery centers located in designated counties. (By 9 a.m. Saturday, June 14, all centers have been closed; five have transitioned to Disaster Loan Outreach Centers, operated by the SBA.)
- 9 counties designated for Individual Assistance.
- 21 counties designated for Public Assistance.
FEMA works with many volunteer agencies, including Project Rebound, to help speed the recovery efforts. Project Rebound, managed by AltaPointe Health Systems, provides counseling and resources for Alabama disaster victims.
The deadline for applying for assistance is rapidly approaching – Tuesday, July 1, 2014.
FEMA urges survivors to make contact and apply for help, no matter the degree of loss or insurancestatus. You can do so by calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time. Operators are multilingual: TTY 800-462-7585. You can also go online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or use your Smartphone or tablet by going to m.fema.gov.
Recovery officials are also urging all Alabama residents who have registered for assistance to stay in close contact with FEMA throughout the recovery process, especially during the first few weeks after registering.
Disaster Loan Outreach Centers, operated by the SBA to assist survivors with questions about federal loans, are located in Baldwin, Jefferson and Limestone and Mobile counties. The locations are:
- Elberta Town Hall, 10352 Main Street, Elberta, AL 36540.
- Fairhope Civic Center (Delchamps Room), 161 North Section Street, Fairhope, AL 36532.
- Graysville Public Library, 315 South Main Street, Graysville, AL 36073.
- Ripley W.O.W. Hall, 11281 Ripley Road, Athens, AL 35611.
- Old Navy/Marine Corps Reserve Center, 4851 Museum Drive, Mobile, AL 36608.
These facilities, which also are staffed with a FEMA specialist, are open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until further notice.
Affected survivors and business owners in the nine designated counties may apply for assistance from FEMA and/or the SBA. Those counties include: Baldwin, Blount, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lee, Limestone, Mobile and Tuscaloosa.
As in most disasters or times of crisis the question always come up, “What do I do now?” At Firestorm, we find that most Americans are in Disaster Denial so that when something does happen they don’t know what to do or who to call. It’s our mission to build strong Disaster Ready people, schools and businesses. That means taking the necessary steps to prepare yourself, your family and your employees including:
- Hurricane Preparation
- Tornado Preparation
- Earthquake Preparation
- Flooding Preparation
For preparation tips for family and employees, download our free book Disaster Ready People for a Disaster Ready America.