Federal and state officials announced that disaster aid to Alabama has topped $516 million in assistance to help in its recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
“As we continue to provide funds for individuals and families, and for public assistance projects and SBA loans, we will see Alabama ‘s recovery steadily improving,” said Michael Bolch, federal coordinating officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Bruce Baughman, the Alabama state coordinating officer said, “The Hurricane dealt us quite a blow–although we realize it could have been worse. Our residents and business owners are anxious to get back to normal and with the help of the federal government we are on our way to that goal.”
Alabama disaster assistance to date includes:
$117 million in assistance to individuals and families
* More than 35,423 individuals and families received housing assistance totaling $81.8 million, which includes $58.6 million in rental assistance.
* 29,162 survivors received $35.2 million for other essential needs.
$68.4 million in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
* The U.S. Small Business Administration approved $49.7 million in loans to 1,360 homeowners and renters plus,
* $14.8 million to 213 businesses and
* $3.8 million in loans to 59 small business owners for working capital and repairs.
$348 million was approved for the following
* Public Assistance (PA) approved $75.9 million for infrastructure costs, debris removal, protective measures such as emergency services and law enforcement, road and bridge repair and restoring public utilities.
* FEMA has approved close to $1.5 million for crisis counseling services.
* Alabama has received approximately $627,700 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance for individuals out of work as a result of Katrina, and who were not covered by regular unemployment assistance.
* More than $254 million was obligated for mission assignments allowing for services, equipment and personnel from agencies including the U.S. Forestry Service, the Alabama National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of the Treasury (IRS), the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and the American Red Cross. Services included the use of military aircraft for rapid needs assessment, crisis counseling for survivors, interpreters for non-English speaking individuals, and shipments of 280 truckloads of ice, 186 truckloads of water, 103 truckloads of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), 11 truckloads of generators, 27 truckloads of cots and 32 truckloads of blankets.
Other disaster assistance:
* 7,442 individuals live in interim housing facilities. Interim housing includes hotels and motels, and in 2,487 travel trailers in state parks on commercial and private property and on other FEMA leased sites.
* To date, 112,195 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 www.fema.gov .
* 40,222 individuals sought services at 31 State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers. Services for the aging were provided to 1,954 individuals.
* 256,333 Katrina survivors received food stamps issued by Alabama Department of Human Resources. This represents $29.3 million, received through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
* Close to 3.17 million cubic yards of storm-related debris has been disposed of statewide.
* So far FEMA has approved approximately $2.5 million to help Alabama with costs to provide emergency shelter for evacuees during and after the storm.
* Close to $60 million is anticipated for hazard mitigation projects to help Alabamians rebuild to standards that help prevent damage in future storms.
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