Ala. Disaster Outreach Gathering Set for Nov. 5

November 3, 2005

The state of Alabama and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will host a community outreach housing fair in York on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005, from noon to 5 p.m. The event will be held in Sumter County High School at 902 Fourth Avenue.

The purpose of this event is to assist evacuees from Mississippi and Louisiana currently residing in hotels and with host families in Alabama, and Alabama residents affected by Hurricane Katrina, in developing long-term housing solutions.

Residents and evacuees from Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and surrounding counties plus individuals from Meridian, Mississippi, and other bordering communities within driving distance are welcome to attend.

A mobile state/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center will be on-site where disaster-affected individuals and families can check the status of an existing application and get information on recovery programs including housing assistance, individual and household grants and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.

A number of organizations have been invited to participate in the outreach, including the Alabama departments of Human Resources; Mental Health; Disaster Unemployment; Insurance Commission; Commission on Aging; Disaster Legal Services; American Red Cross; Head Start Program; Project Rebound; The Salvation Army; Social Security Administration; U.S. Departments of Agriculture-Rural Development, HUD and Veterans Affairs. Chemical Waste Management (Emelle Treatment Facility) is donating cash for refreshments for the event.

“This is the second event we’ve hosted so far,” said Mike Bolch, FEMA’s senior deputy federal coordinating officer. “We’re bringing together as many providers as we can with the people who need them the most.” The first event was held in Anniston, in Calhoun County on Oct. 22.

Individuals with disaster-related needs who have not yet registered for assistance should call the FEMA teleregistration number, 800-621-FEMA (3362) before visiting the fair. The speech- or hearing-impaired may call (TTY) should call 800-462-7585. The lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice. Multilingual operators can assist applicants in many different languages. Registration via the Internet is also available at

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