Ala. Aid for Hurricane Katrina Heads Toward Half Billion Mark

November 6, 2005

In the weeks since Aug. 29, when a federal disaster declaration was issued for Alabama, nearly half a billion dollars in assistance has been given to Alabamians affected by Hurricane Katrina, according to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

How Katrina Assistance Adds Up:

Disaster assistance to individuals and families in Alabama is more than $109 million

* More than 34,000 individuals and families have received a share of $78 million in FEMA housing assistance that includes $45.5 million in Expedited Assistance (EA). EA allows for a pre-inspection disbursement of funds to individuals who were in need of shelter due to the loss of their primary residence.
* An additional $31.5 million was provided to 27,269 survivors for other essential needs.

The total of Alabama disaster assistance to date has climbed to more than $450 million

* The U.S. Small Business Administration approved $10.5 million in loans to 294 homeowners and renters and $2.8 million to 63 businesses.
* Public Assistance (PA) approved $24.1 million for infrastructure costs, such as the restoration of power poles, distribution lines and service, emergency protective measures needed to respond to the storm and debris removal.
* Alabama has received $1.1 million in Disaster Unemployment Assistance for individuals out of work as a result of Katrina, and who were not covered by regular unemployment assistance. The National Flood Insurance Program disbursed $16 million in initial flood damage claims.
* More than $287 million in mission assignments provided for immediate emergency response services to preserve life and health, including the distribution of water, ice, meals ready-to-eat (MREs), and debris removal.

Other Highlights Include:

* To date, 112,556 Alabama residents registered with FEMA for assistance by calling either the toll-free number 800-621-FEMA (3362), the TTY number for the hearing- or speech-impaired, 800-462-7585 or by going online at .
* 35,420 individuals sought services at State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). DRCs are located in Bayou La Batre, Birmingham , Livingston and Mobile . Mobile DRCs are in operation in Troy and on Dauphin Island .
* More than 6,300 individuals now reside in interim housing facilities, including travel trailers at the trailer park in Bayou La Batre, on both commercial and private property, and in other facilities. Efforts continue to secure interim housing for the remaining 6 persons in one shelter—down from a high of 5,421 persons in 73 shelters.
* To date FEMA has allocated close to $1 million for crisis counseling services.
* Public Assistance has reviewed 693 project worksheets and has obligated funds for 648 projects, or 92 percent of requests.
* More than 2.8 million cubic yards of storm-related debris has been collected statewide out of a total estimated 3.2 million cubic yards.

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