FEMA Disaster and Housing Assistance Information

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Monday, May 2nd, 2011

There are only seventeen Alabama counties that have been designated for FEMA disaster assistance: Autauga, Calhoun,
Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Marengo, Marshall, St. Clair, Sumter, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa and Walker.

FEMA has six disaster recovery centers opened in four Alabama counties: in Rainsville (Tom Bevill Center), Bessemer (Union Hill B.C.), Warrior (National Guard Armory), Fultondale (Old Ashleye Furniture Store), Linden (National Guard Armory) and Cordova (Cordova H.S.).

FEMA disaster assistance to individuals is provided in these categories: (1) disaster housing, (2) disaster grants, (3) low-interest disaster loans, (4) help with crising counseling, unemployment, legal aid, income taxes, Social Security and Veterans benefits.

FEMA cannot provide disaster assistance to anyone whose losses are covered by insurance. An individual has up to 12 months to submit insurance information for review.

FEMA disaster assistance is available for individuals who have insurance and who have filed claims with their insurance companies, if (1) the insurance settlement is delayed, (2) the insurance settlement is insufficient to meet the disaster-related needs, (3) the insured has exhausted the available additional living expenses provided by the insurer, or (4) the insured is unable to locate rental resources in his/her county.

FEMA disaster assistance for individuals includes the following for Housing Needs: (1) money to pay for temporary housing or a government-provided housing unit when rental properties are not available, (2) money to pay for repairs to a primary residence that are not covered by insurance, (3) money to replace a home destroyed and it is not covered by insurance, and (4) direct assistance or money for the construction of a home in an area where the damage occurred in an “insular area” or remote location specified by FEMA an not other type of housing assistance is possible.

FEMA Housing Needs assistance is available if (1) the applicant is unable to live in his or her home now, (2) the applicant cannot get to his or her home due to the disaster, or (3) the home requires repairs because of damage from the disaster.

FEMA Housing Needs assistance does not cover losses to a secondary or vacation home. The applicant must have been living in the home for which assistance is sought.

FEMA Housing Needs assistance is available only if the applicant or someone who lives with the applicant is a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.

FEMA disaster assistance for individuals includes the following for Non-Housing Needs: (1) disaster-related medical and dental costs, (2) disaster-related funeral and burial costs, (3) clothing, household items, etc., (4) fuels for primary heating sources (heating oil, gas, etc.), (5) clean-up items (wet-dry vacuum, etc.), (6) disaster-damaged vehicle, (7) moving and storage expenses related to the disaster, (8) other expenses approved by FEMA or authorized by law.

FEMA information is available at www.fema.gov.


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