FEMA advises locals to register for relief

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By Sarrah Peters, News Editor

**Correction made to reflect the Rainbow City location’s closing. Correction made 5-29-18** 

FEMA is still taking registration for disaster relief from the March tornadoes that struck Jacksonville, Southside and parts of Rainbow City.

FEMA External Affairs employee Robert Porreca encourages anyone who received damage from the storms to apply for aid.

“Don’t take yourself out of the running,” said Porreca. “You don’t know until you try.”

The easiest way to apply for aid is to visit the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). The Rainbow City DRC closed Saturday, May 26. The nearest DRC is the Jacksonville one at the Calhoun County EMA Center at 507 Francis St. W. Jacksonville, AL. 36265.

The recovery center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. until further notice. Registration is also available online.

While at the center, officials will assist visitors in registering for aid and filing the necessary documents with the registration.

For those persons denied aid after registering, Porreca advised reading through a letter of determination that will explain the denial, and there may be a simple fix. Anyone denied aid can appeal the decision.

Porreca warned that the registration for aid is a process and that it may take time. He also said that FEMA aid probably will not cover all the damage but it is designed to get people “back on their feet.”

The deadline for registration for FEMA aid is June 25, although the Disaster Recovery Center likely will not remain open until then.

For additional assistance, Porreca suggested checking with local nonprofits and applying for a low-interest loan with the Small Business Administration. The SBA loan does not have to be accepted, but may open up applicants for additional FEMA grants.

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