Preparedness & Recovery

FEMA Reps Arrive in Alabama to Offer Storm Damage Assistance

FEMA’s assistance is to help residents with uncovered expenses related to the storm.

by David Palmer, The Cullman Times, Ala. / May 2, 2018
Keisha Turner surveys the damage done to her son's apartment, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, after a violent storm went swept through Jacksonville, Ala., the night before. AP/Brynn Anderson

(TNS) - Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration assistance is available for Cullman County residents and businesses struggling with damages after the March 19 hailstorm.

The FEMA agents arrived this week following President Donald Trump approving a declaration of disaster requested by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, said Cullman County Emergency Management Agency Director Phyllis Little.

The disaster declaration covers Calhoun, Cullman and Etowah counties in Alabama.

Little said FEMA representatives have been visiting areas of the county, from Cullman to Welti, where extensive damaged was reported.

“These representatives have photo identifications, but they are in rental cars,” Little said. “All of the cars and the individuals here representing FEMA have been reported to the dispatches at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Cullman Police Department so that they are verifiable. If anyone has any questions, they can be verified.”

FEMA’s assistance is to help residents with uncovered expenses related to the storm. The SBA, on the other hand, provides assistance through low-interest loans for businesses and others, Little said.

“I’m encouraging everyone who has expenses from the storm to contact FEMA and ask. You don’t know if you are eligible for that or an SBA loan unless you ask,” Little said. “At some point we hope to have a location set up where residents can sit down with the representative and go over their damages and see what may be available.”

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at Disasterloan.sba.gov.

If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may also call 800-621-3362. People who use TTY may call 800-462-7585.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is June 25, 2018. The deadline for economic injury applications is Jan. 28, 2019.

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©2018 The Cullman Times (Cullman, Ala.)

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