In just two weeks since the President declared three Alabama counties eligible for Individual Assistance, $2.8 million in disaster assistance has been approved to help those affected by Hurricane Dennis, state and federal officials announced this week.
“This early in the recovery process our concern is for people’s housing needs. For some, the housing assistance check is just the first check they will receive,” Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA), Federal Coordinating Officer, Mike Bolch said.
Checks, totaling $1,708,317 million, in disaster housing assistance have been approved since the application process began on July 10. ‘Other Needs Assistance’ (ONA) funds approved has amounted to $1,131,340. A total of 9,712 individuals and small business owners from the disaster-designated counties have applied for disaster assistance programs as of close of business Monday, July 25.
Four Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) at Atmore, Brewton, Saraland and Bay Minette are currently open to serve those recovering from the Hurricane. All four will close at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 30. Operating hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week. A total of 2,333 have visited DRC locations since they began operation.
“Meeting housing needs for victims of the hurricane is our top priority,” Bruce Baughman, Alabama State Emergency Management (AEMA) state coordinating officer, said. “These first checks are just the beginning of the federal and state assistance that will be available to disaster victims.”
Disaster housing assistance comes in the form of grants for alternate rental housing, emergency repairs needed to make a residence livable, and mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship. This assistance serves as an interim solution to people’s housing needs until long-term solutions are addressed, typically through insurance or loans.
Persons in the three declared counties who suffered damage or loss to a home or business in Hurricane Dennis on July 10, are encouraged to apply for assistance by calling a toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment should call, TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both phone lines are open between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. (EST) daily, until further notice. Registration can also be done on-line at www.fema.gov.
The Presidential disaster declaration makes federal and state funds available to individuals, families and business owners in Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia counties and public assistance (debris removal and emergency protective measures) available in Autauga, Baldwin, Bibb, Bullock, Chambers, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coffee, Conecuh, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Escambia, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, Sumter, Talledega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Washington and Wilcox counties.
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