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Biden grants disaster declaration for Alabama, triggering release of federal assistance

Congresswoman Terri Sewell announced Sunday that President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state of Alabama.

Governor Kay Ivey was joined by Alabama Senator Katie Britt as she toured the Tornado damage in Selma and Atauga County Friday January 13, 2023 in Selma, Ala. Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager

Congresswoman Terri Sewell announced Sunday that President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in the State of Alabama and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes on January 12, 2023. The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Dallas and Autauga Counties. The FEMA disaster declaration fact sheet can be viewed here

“I’m thankful that President Biden has heard our calls and expedited a declaration of major disaster for the State of Alabama following Thursday’s devastating storms,” said Rep. Sewell. “This declaration will free up critical federal resources to relieve, recover and rebuild. I look forward to continuing to partner with Governor Ivey, Alabama’s congressional delegation, as well as state, local, and community stakeholders to use these resources as an opportunity to build back Selma and all the affected areas better for the people of Alabama.” 

“The outpouring of support for our communities has been truly heartening, and I join in thanking everyone who has offered their support now and into the future,” continued Sewell. “This will be a marathon, not a sprint, but rest assured we will come back stronger than before.”

Federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding also is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the counties of Autauga and Dallas. Lastly, Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Kevin A. Wallace, Sr. as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and additional areas may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or by using the FEMA App. Anyone using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, can give FEMA the number for that service.

The following FEMA fact sheets are linked below:

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