Area counties now eligible for federal aid

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 12, 2005

Gov. Bob Riley’s request for assistance to several area counties that were affected by Hurricane Katrina was approved Thursday. After assessments were made in the region, individual and infrastructure assistance is now available to county residents.

Marengo, Hale, Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties have been added to the list of counties eligible for infrastructure assistance, and Greene, Hale, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties are now eligible for individual assistance.

Scott Adcock, public information spokesperson for Gov. Riley said private, non-profit organizations, such as rural electric cooperatives, are eligible for infrastructure assistance.

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Those who wish to receive this assistance will have the opportunity to set up application briefings with public assistance officials.

“It is not a situation where FEMA immediately cuts a check,” Adcock said, “It is a long-term recovery program.”

Application acceptance is based on inspection, review and eligibility, he said.

Individual aid works a little differently. Individual residents may register for aid by contacting FEMA at (800) 621-FEMA. Inspection of the residence is then required, unless there is a total loss with no house remaining, Adcock said.

“Average turn-around time is seven to 10 days when an inspector is called,” he said.

Individual assistance in the form of temporary housing, rental assistance, disaster-related unemployment assistance, individual housing program grants and other types of federal aid is available to those respective counties.

Adcock said more Alabama counties are expected to be added to both lists.