By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, President Donald Trump approved Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the state of Alabama. The president declared that an emergency exists in the state of Alabama and ordered federal assistance to supplement existing response efforts due to emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Irma beginning on Sept. 8, 2017, and continuing.
Ivey, during a phone call with the president Sunday, requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration to assist the state of Alabama in Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
Ivey said, “In a phone call on Sunday, President Donald Trump promised me that he ‘had Alabama’s back’ and in approving our request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the President has proven to be a man of his word,” Governor Ivey said. “He and his team are doing a tremendous job managing this disaster in several states, and I am thankful for their hard work on behalf of Alabama, and their willingness to quickly approve our request.”
The Emergency Declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. The federal assistance will help alleviate the tremendous task of local relief efforts. It will also provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures authorized under title V of the Stafford Act, “to save lives, protect property, and ensure public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in 67 counties and the Poarch Creek Indian Tribe in the State of Alabama.”
FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide, at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long named Warren J. Riley as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
On Monday, the remnants of Hurricane Irma moved from Florida into Georgia. At this point, 45,000 Alabamians don’t have electricity. Over nine million across four southern states don’t have electricity.
On Tuesday, the much-weakened storm will move across Alabama, and there is a risk of flooding and tornadoes. Many school systems are closed across the state. Avoid unnecessary travel, and do not cross flood waters or go near downed power lines
On Sunday, Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Cabinet received a briefing yesterday from Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert on the ongoing federal response and recovery operations for Hurricane Irma. They also discussed federal support for Hurricane Harvey recovery, which is still in the early stages. Trump stressed that his top priorities are life-saving and life-sustaining efforts in affected areas.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice.
There are a number of charities you can donate to aid victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Knights of Columbus Charities being just one of them.
The Red Cross is also taking donations for disaster victims.