Alabama residents and business owners who suffered losses from the severe storms and tornadoes in early November have until Jan. 13, 2003 to register for federal and state disaster assistance.
Twenty-nine Alabama counties have been declared disaster areas, including Barbour, Dale and Henry counties.
Federal and state recovery officials strongly encourage people in those areas who have not already done so to register for assistance as soon as possible.
The toll free number to call is 1-800-621-3362.
State officials said there are grants to help pay for temporary home repairs and other disaster related expenses.
There are also low interest small business loans to cover residential and business losses that are not covered by insurance.
But, the only way to be considered for any of them is by registering with FEMA.
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What is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA?
- FEMA is an independent federal agency with more than 2,600 full time employees.
- FEMA also has nearly 4,000 standby disaster assistance employees who are available to help out after disasters.
- Often FEMA works in partnership with other organizations that are part of the nation's emergency management system. These partners include state and local emergency management agencies, 27 federal agencies and American Red Cross.
- FEMA works on a life cycle of disasters:
- Prepare for emergencies and disasters.
- Respond to the events when they occur
- Recover, help people and institutions recover from the disasters
- Mitigate the effects of the events
- Reduce the risk of loss
- Prevent disasters, such as fires from occurring
- FEMA provides individual assistance programs, and public assistance programs.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has advice for those filing a flood insurance claim faster and easier
- As soon as possible, call your insurance company or agent to report damage.
- If possible, photograph the outside of the premises, showing the evidence of flooding and the exterior damage.
- If possible, photograph the interior, showing your damaged belongings and the marks indicating the height of the floodwaters
- Separate the damaged from the undamaged possessions for the adjuster's examination.
- When the adjuster arrives, let him or her know if you need an advance or partial payment for your loss.
- Throw away damaged property that presents a health hazard or could hamper cleanup. If items have been thrown away, describe them to the adjuster for documentation.
- Compile a room-by-room inventory of damaged or missing items. If possible, try to locate receipts or proofs of purchase
- Submit your signed and sworn Proof of Loss form within 60 days following the loss.
Source: www.fema.gov (The Federal Emergency Management Agency Web Site)