Gov. Bentley wants help for local governments also

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Individuals have been approved for relief following the Jan. 23 tornadoes, and now Gov. Robert Bentley wants local governments made eligible for assistance.

Bentley on Wednesday formally requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency to authorize the Public Assistance Grant Program to aid jurisdictions in Chilton, Jefferson and Perry counties as they recover from the effects of severe weather, according to a release.

The request follows recently concluded damage assessments performed by local, state and federal personnel. Assessments have shown that governments at all levels have collectively incurred millions of dollars in combined costs for expenses such as debris removal and damage to infrastructure.

The public assistance program would provide reimbursement of a percentage of approved costs associated with storm cleanup.

“Recovering from these storms is a long-term process,” Bentley said in the release. “I am hopeful the federal government will take into consideration the financial needs of the individual municipalities and other local governments that have worked diligently to repair damage and clear debris in the wake of the storms.”

Bentley was informed this week by the FEMA that Perry County has now been approved for receiving individual assistance. Chilton and Jefferson counties were previously approved.

Storm survivors seeking individual assistance for losses to personal property can apply by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration number, 800-621-FEMA (3362). The hearing or speech impaired can use the TTY line at 800-462-7585.

Registration lines are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time. An application may also be completed online at

Two Disaster Recovery Centers in Chilton County will be open through Saturday.

Survivors of the tornadoes should register by one of the methods listed above and then visit one of the centers between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to sit down with a variety of specialists for answers to specific questions or help completing FEMA registration. This one-on-one help is available to homeowners, renters, businesses and qualified nonprofits.

The deadline to apply for individual assistance through FEMA is April 2.

The centers are located in Clanton City Hall and Maplesville Public Library.