County’s Disaster Relief Center moves to new location
by David Lazenby
May 14, 2011 | 3090 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CORDOVA — The recent relocation of Walker County’s Disaster Relief Center from a location adjacent to Cordova High School to the nearby First Baptist Church is providing welcome relief from weather that has been both muggy and wet this week.

Lt. James Tucker, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency manager of the county DRC, said it was the elements that drove the change.

“The heat was getting hot,” Tucker said, “so we wanted to get them an air-conditioned building.”

Also, because officials with the Federal Emergency Management Administration or the Small Business Administration are working with laptop computers, phones and other electronics that can be damaged by moisture, Tucker said officials needed an indoor facility.

“They can’t keep that equipment out there in the rain,” Tucker said Friday.

The DRC has not gone far. The church where it is now located, at 3965 Massachusetts Ave. North, is adjacent to Sheri’s One Stop, which is near the high school.

Tucker stressed that the DRC is not just for residents of Cordova.

“Everybody in Walker County can come here to register,” said Tucker, who added they can also register at any DRC in the state or on FEMA’s website or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

FEMA officials continue to encourage residents to sign up with FEMA.

Gail Silva, the FEMA manager for the county DRC, said, “We’ll be here as long as people need our assistance, but it’s also predicated on them coming to register and utilizing the facilities.”

Tucker said even those whose homes that had minimal damage — or no visible damage — from the April 27 storms should register with FEMA after contacting their insurance company.

“If they’re in the affected area, they need to register whether there was damage or not,” said Tucker, who pointed out that high winds from the storm could affect a home’s structural safety or electrical stability without a homeowner’s knowledge.

The Disaster Relief Center at the First Baptist Church of Cordova is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice.