Homeowners, renters and small business owners with uninsured damage or losses from the March 25-26 tornadoes and severe storms that tore through central Alabama have only until Friday, June 25, to register for federal disaster assistance.
That’s the deadline both for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
FEMA encourages people to apply if they have insurance because FEMA may provide benefits not covered by some insurers.
A March 25 tornado caused damage in West Blocton, Helena, Pelham and the Oak Mountain, Eagle Point and Highland Lakes communities before reaching Greystone Farms and continued through Shoal Creek and Vandiver before ending in St. Clair County.
The National Weather Service said the tornado traveled 50 miles and rated it an EF3 tornado with estimated peak winds of 140 mph. Some of the most significant damage was in Eagle Point.
People can apply for aid online at disasterassistance.gov, by downloading the FEMA app or by phone at 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. central time. Operators are multilingual, and people who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to those services. People who need accommodations for language or a disability should let the operator know.
To apply for a low-interest SBA disaster loan, call 800-659-2955 or complete an online application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
For additional online resources, as well as FEMA downloadable pamphlets and other aids, visit disasterassistance.gov and click “information.”
For referrals to Alabama health and human service agencies or community organizations, dial 211, text 888-421-1266 or chat with referral specialists via 211connectsalabama.org.
For more information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit ema.alabama.gov or the AlabamaEMA Facebook page.