FEMA to open recovery centers

Workers set up signs at an area FEMA DRC.
Workers set up signs at an area FEMA DRC.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Several FEMA recovery centers are preparing to open to help victims of the historic floods of May.

FEMA and the Small Business Administration will be at the Capital Heights Community Center in Montgomery everyday this week from 8am until 6pm.

In Prattville FEMA and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) will open a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at noon Tuesday, June 23.

The DRC will be at the Parks and Recreation Department, 1309 Upper Kingston Road in Prattville. The hours of operation are Tuesday, noon to 6 p.m. and from Wednesday, June 24 through Saturday, June 27, the center will be open from, 8am until 6pm.

Before visiting the DRC, people are encouraged to register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech-impaired. The toll-free numbers are available seven days a week, 7am to 10pm. Help in languages other than English is also available.

After registering with FEMA, it is not necessary to visit a DRC. The centers are provided for those who may want to visit personally with a disaster recovery specialist.

Other reasons to visit a DRC would be to check the status of your claim, get answers to questions about the recovery status, or review information FEMA needs to process an individual's claim. Recovery specialists also can supply contacts for other programs that may be available for further assistance.

In addition, Customer Service Representatives (CSR) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be at the centers to answer questions about the SBA's low-interest disaster loan program for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations. These loans are to repair or replace real estate and/or personal property damaged by the severe storms and flooding of   May 6 - 8.

SBA CSRs will help complete and accept SBA disaster loan applications. Anyone who cannot visit a DRC should call the SBA Customer Service Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-659-2955 for information and assistance or visit the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov/services/.