The center is set up at Cordova High School, and it will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.
Dean Cushman, a FEMA public relations representative, said residents can register for assistance online at www.disaterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA. The toll free number is staffed from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day and help is available in all languages.
“We would like to ask anyone who can to register online or to call before visiting the disaster recovery center, if that is possible,” he said.
Cushman said the registration process is relatively simple with operators only needing a person’s name, Social Security number, contact information, address of damaged property and their income amount for 2010.
“It’s only basic information they need,” he said. “There is going to be a lot of people from several states calling right now, so we are asking for patience, but the calls need to be made now.”
Property owners with insurance should contact their insurance providers before contacting FEMA, Cushman said.
“If they have no insurance, they should immediately contact FEMA,” he added.
Cushman said the process is open for homeowners, renters and business owners who were affected by the storms. He said the types of assistance available are disaster housing for homes that were completely or severely destroyed, disaster grants that will help make home safe and functional or United States Small Business Association loans.
“There are ways people can be help, but we need to get the word out that the most important thing for those citizens to do now is to register,” Cushman said. “They shouldn’t be the judge of their own damage. If they have any damage at all, it needs to be reported because help is available.”
More disaster recovery centers could be opened in the coming days in other areas of Walker County, but Cushman said anyone in the area can visit the center in Cordova.
Gina Nichols, site manager at the Walker County Career Center, said that facility will be open each day at 7:30 a.m. for residents needing to use its telephone or Internet connection to file FEMA applications. The Walker County Career Center is located in the same parking lot as Winn-Dixie at 2604 Viking Drive in Jasper. To contact the WCCC, call 205-221-2576.
FEMA: 20 shelters open in Alabama
BIRMINGHAM — The Federal Emergency Management Agency says people who need a place to stay after the deadly tornadoes in Alabama now have 20 shelters available. The shelters are supported by the American Red Cross.
They are located at the Cullman Civic Center, Hanceville Recreation and Wellness Center, Ryan School in Joppa, Rainsville Civic Center, Carnes Recreation Center in Attalla, First Baptist Church in Russellville, Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Bessemer, First Baptist Church in Dora, Moulton Armory, First Baptist Church Life Center in Athens, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Madison, First Baptist Church in Winfield, Albertville Recreation Center, Ashville Middle School, Belk Center Parks and Recreation Building in Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa VA, Northside Baptist Church in Jasper, Hunters Chapel Holy Church of Christ in Jasper, and the Haleyville Fire Department.