March 23rd, 2007 11:18 EST
$5.8 Million In Disaster Aid Approved For Alabama
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- In less than three weeks since President Bush declared a major disaster for the State of Alabama, significant amounts of federal aid have begun to flow into the affected areas.
Families, individuals and business owners who suffered damage from the severe storms and tornadoes of March 1, have been approved to receive approximately $5.8 million in assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
"We continue to make substantial progress in our efforts to assist Alabama residents and businesses recover from the tornadoes," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech, in charge of federal disaster recovery operations in the affected area.
"This financial aid will allow many residents and businesses to begin the rebuilding process," said Bruce Baughman, director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.
Below is the breakdown of federal aid for the six counties affected by the storms and tornadoes as of the close of business Wednesday, March 21, 2007:
1,656 households have registered for Individual Assistance.
$1,070,009 has been approved through the Individuals and Household Program. Of that, FEMA has provided $709,317 in Housing Assistance and $360,692 in Other Needs Assistance (ONA).
$4,728,700 in loans has been approved by the SBA for homeowners, renters, individuals and business owners affected by the severe storms and tornadoes. Of this, $4,671,000 has been approved for home loans and $57,700 has been approved for businesses.
845 home inspections have been requested. To date, all of the 845 requests have been scheduled and 832 have been completed. There are currently 3 inspectors in the field.
1,694 people have visited the six Disaster Recovery Centers established to meet the recovery-information needs of individuals in the counties affected by the March 1 tornadoes. One center remains open in Enterprise.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in Coffee, Dale, Dallas, Henry, Montgomery and Wilcox counties who sustained damage from the March 1 tornadoes can register for assistance by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362). Those with impaired speech or hearing can call TTY (800) 462-7585. Applicants also can register online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.