Gov. Riley thanks President for disaster declaration

MONTGOMERY— Governor Bob Riley thanked President Obama for granting the state's request for a federal disaster declaration for DeKalb and Marshall counties following tornadoes and storms that hit the area in late April. Governor Riley and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency were informed Monday night that federal disaster aid is being made available to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by severe storms and tornadoes during the period of April 24-25.

"We are committed to providing citizens all the help they need," said Governor Riley. "On behalf of all Alabamians, I thank President Obama for his response to this terrible storm that has affected so many people.  The President's actions will help these communities recover more quickly."

Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said, "We appreciate the prompt attention of our federal partners at FEMA.  The recovery of communities which have suffered loss is important for the well-being of the entire state. Local officials, the county emergency managers and volunteers have all worked tirelessly for those who suffered losses due to this severe weather."

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 is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in DeKalb and Marshall counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Michael Moore has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Moore said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at 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).

INFORMATION SOURCE: Governor Bob Riley's Press Office