FEMA: Aid registrations jump by 20,000 in Alabama

Marcia Doyle Headshot

The number of people registering for FEMA assistance rose by 32 percent this week, for a total of nearly 64,000 individuals and households filing for disaster assistance within the first two weeks of the April 27th tornadoes.

FEMA has approved a total of nearly $36 million through both their Individuals and Households Progam and the Small Business Administration’s low-interest disaster loan program.

The following numbers, compiled May 13, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:

Funds approved

  • $25.3 million for Housing Assistance grants to help with recovery rental expenses and home repair costs;
  • $9.4 million for Other Needs Assistance to cover essential disaster-related needs, such as medical expenses and lost personal possessions.
  • $1.2 million approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest loans to eligible homeowners, renters or business owners.

Survivor recovery

  • 33,659 damaged homes and property have been inspected (84 percent of requests);
  • 11,418 visits have been made to one of the 28 disaster recovery centers located in designated counties. An average of 1,300 survivors visit disaster recovery centers daily.
  • 42 counties declared for individual assistance.

No matter the degree of loss or insurance, survivors are urged to apply for help. They can use the following methods:

  • By phone, call 800-621-FEMA from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time. Operators are multilingual.  For the speech or hearing impaired, the number is TTY 800-462-7585.
  • By computer, go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • By smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov.

Recovery officials urge all Alabama residents who have registered for assistance to stay in close touch with FEMA throughout the recovery process, especially during the first weeks after registering when FEMA housing inspectors must contact applicants to view damages. Those with mobile phones should provide that number to FEMA during the registration and/or a good contact number.

Affected survivors and business owners in the 42 designated counties may apply for assistance. Those counties are: Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington and Winston.