When spring brings storms, repairs follow. President Barack Obama declared parts of Alabama to be an official disaster area. Severe storms struck Alabama on April 24 and 25. Tornadoes, other high winds, and floods damaged structures. The declaration of a disaster guarantees federal help for rebuilding, for temporary housing, and for mitigation of hazards from a disaster. The help covers a set percent of repair and mitigation costs the local government incurs. Businesses and nonprofit groups can get help. Individuals can get grants for home repairs and for temporary housing.
Federal help will focus on DeKalb and Marshall counties. According to the Red Cross, thousands of homes were damaged there. Business owners in the designated disaster areas can apply for aid by calling the Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov.