Alabama Survivors Receive More Than $2.6 Million in Disaster Grants

ANNISTON, Ala. – Five weeks after the presidential disaster declaration following the March 19-20 tornadoes and storms that hit Alabama, families and individuals affected by the disaster have received a total of $2.64 million in federal funding to date. More than 1,385 people have applied for FEMA assistance.

Alabama has taken significant steps toward recovery in the areas affected by 15 confirmed tornadoes. In Calhoun, Cullman and Etowah counties, designated for Individual Assistance (IA), disaster survivors are repairing and rebuilding their homes with the help of and local, county, state and federal governments as well as voluntary organizations.

At the same time, Calhoun, Cullman and Etowah counties, plus St. Clair County, are designated for Public Assistance (PA). PA offers grants for disaster-related damages to infrastructure and loss of public services that exceed the ability of the state, local governments and certain private nonprofit agencies to accomplish in a timely manner.

Grants are available for emergency protective measures, road systems and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities and parks, recreation and facilities and debris removal.

FEMA Public Assistance received 24 requests for assistance and expects to award approximately $18.5 million in grants for the four counties. Applicants include private nonprofits, state agencies and local governments.

FEMA has also taken the opportunity to hire several students and recent graduates of Jacksonville State University. Four of the university’s Emergency Management Program graduates have been hired as apprentices to help oversee PA grants to the university, which received serious damage to its campus.

FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) grants to Alabama survivors has surpassed $640,900 for housing repair, personal property and other expenses.

  • 549 damaged properties have been inspected within the three counties.
  • More than $481,680 has been approved for housing assistance, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
  • More than $159,200 has been approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions

More than $2 million in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Two Long Term Recovery Committees are responding to the long-term needs of survivors of the March 19-20 disaster. Etowah County Long Term Recovery Committee, has been meeting since April and is reviewing cases and granting funds to meet the needs of survivors.

Calhoun County Long Term Recovery Committee recently started meeting and recently closed its first case. Cullman County Long Term Recovery Committee is in the formative stages. FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons will work with this committee to assist with the development bylaws and its structure.