Ala. Disaster Assistance Nears $735 Million

March 11, 2005

It has been nearly six long months since Hurricane Ivan made landfall on the Gulf Coast, causing severe damage and destruction in 65 Alabama counties.

Since that time, state and local governments, as well as individuals, households and businesses, have received nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in disaster response and recovery aid from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA).

$735 million in disaster assistance includes the following:

* $184 million approved to help individuals and households affected by Hurricane Ivan. This includes housing assistance such as lodging expenses, rental assistance, home repair, plus medical and dental expenses, transportation costs and other related needs not covered by insurance or other programs.
* $104 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
* $37 million in disaster food stamps, including aid from emergency and replacement programs, was administered by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
* $860,777 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been distributed to individuals who were/are out of work as a direct result of the hurricane, and who otherwise would not be eligible for regular unemployment assistance.
* $393,693 was allocated to fund “Project Rebound,” enabling a statewide hotline and outreach program for crisis counseling.
* $164 million in federal mission assignments was disbursed. Mission assignments are work orders that FEMA, as the lead federal recovery agency, issues to other federal agencies requesting that they complete specific tasks during response and recovery phases of the disaster.
* 51 counties are eligible for public assistance funding. To-date, $181 million in Public Assistance funds has been obligated to provide reimbursement for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken in response to the storm. It also includes the repair of public infrastructure damaged by the storm, including roads and bridges; public buildings and utilities; and public facilities and parks.

FEMA will pay 90 percent of the total approved costs with the state picking up the remaining 10 percent. Local and state entities and certain private non-profit entities will now be reimbursed 100 percent for all public assistance expenses.

Mitigation: FEMA and the state continue to work together to ensure that the next time disaster strikes Alabama residents will be better prepared to protect their families and property.
* 39,190 brochures about how to rebuild stronger and safer were distributed.
* More than 7,000 applicants have received information about mitigation techniques.
* 5,856 National Flood Insurance Program claims have been filed due to flooding caused by Hurricane Ivan.
* Flood insurance settlements to date approach $60 million.
* Four Hazard Mitigation Grant Projects have been approved. The federal share of project costs is $3.8 million.

More recovery news:

* 165,761 applications for assistance were received from residents of the affected counties.
* A total of 20 Disaster Recovery Centers were opened in 13 counties plus the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation to provide applicants with face-to-face assistance on a variety of disaster-related issues.
* 52,782 visits logged by disaster victims to Disaster Recovery Centers.
* 409 travel trailers are currently occupied. As families complete their long term housing plans and move to permanent housing, the number of travel trailers occupied will decrease.
* 152 Community Relations outreach personnel made more than 130,000 visits to residents, local leaders, businesses, and other community-based organizations in each of the 65 declared counties.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.