More than a month after severe weather left much of the Bay Area damaged by straight-line winds and flooding, Baldwin and Mobile County residents are being encouraged to apply for disaster assistance through FEMA — even if their homes were insured.
As of June 12, more than 3,464 requests for assistance had been granted in Mobile County and 1,797 had been approved Baldwin County.
Those cases involved damages sustained in nine Alabama counties declared as disaster areas as a result of storms and heavy rains during the April 28-May 5 window approved for federal funding.
In Baldwin County, more than $6.7 million has been approved for housing assistance and up $1.1 million has been approved for other needs.
In Mobile County, $4.6 million has been allocated for housing assistance and $1.1 million has been awarded for other needs.
In a press release from FEMA earlier this month, Art Faulkner, Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, encouraged residents to register for disaster assistance even if they believe insurance would cover their losses from the recent storms.
“It is important to know what your policy covers,” he said. “For example, if insurance does not include the expense of being displaced from your home, FEMA disaster housing assistance may help.”
The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is midnight of July 1.
As of June 19, Disaster Loan Outreach Centers, which assist survivors with questions about federal loans, were still open in Baldwin and Mobile counties at:
• Elberta Town Hall, 10352 Main St., Elberta
• Fairhope Civic Center, 161 North Section St., Fairhope
• Old Navy/Marine Corps Reserve Center, 4851 Museum Drive, Mobile
“We make the determination on these same way we do the disaster recovery centers,” said Robin Smith, with FEMA’s media relations. “It’s based on the number of people that are there each day. As those numbers drop off, we know there’s not enough need to keep a center open.”
Each loan outreach center is staffed with a FEMA specialist.
They are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until further notice.
Baldwin County also has the option to receive public assistance funds from FEMA, which are available to county and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly $10 million through its low-interest disaster loan program, which available to businesses in the affected counties.
Officials are also encouraging any storm survivor denied assistance to appeal, which they have a right to do within 60 days of receiving a determination letter from FEMA.
Assistance can also be applied for over the phone from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 800-621-3362.