Expo to answer questions about long-term disaster recovery
by Daniel Gaddy
Jul 08, 2011 | 2230 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Disaster relief officials are urging  residents affected by the April 27 tornadoes to attend the Walker County Housing and Recovery Expo, which will provide professionals who can answer questions related to long-term recovery from the disaster.  Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
Disaster relief officials are urging residents affected by the April 27 tornadoes to attend the Walker County Housing and Recovery Expo, which will provide professionals who can answer questions related to long-term recovery from the disaster. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
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State officials on Saturday will hold a meeting they hope will provide answers to questions about long-term recovery for victims of the April 27 tornadoes.

The Walker County Housing and Recovery Expo will be held at the Walker High School gymnasium from 12:30 to 5 p.m. The event is hosted by the State of Alabama Housing Task Force, working with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mary-Margaret Walker, a local public information officer for FEMA, said the meeting will emphasize ways to help storm victims find permanent housing.

Walker said professionals such as real estate agents, bankers and contractors will offer their help at the expo. Representatives from businesses, volunteer organizations and state and federal agencies will also be on hand at the meeting, she said.

The topics covered by the participants will include banking, crisis counseling, foreclosures, fraud counseling and insurance concerns.

Walker said the representatives can help disaster victims with areas ranging from missing legal documents to advice on rebuilding a more storm-resistant home.

“It is bringing together all these organizations that have a commitment to helping the people of Alabama recover from this event,” Walker said.

Representatives from the Alabama Department of Insurance and the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission will also be at the expo. Walker said both of the agencies have been incredibly accessible to FEMA officials since the storms hit in late April.

“They have been playing a very active role in helping us move the process along,” she said.

Walker also said officials from the state attorney general’s office will be at the expo to discuss any issues of fraud.

Walker said she encouraged anyone impacted by the severe weather or tornadoes of April 27 to attend the meeting.

“It’s not just about building back a structure,” she said. “It’s also about helping people to recover from these traumatic events.”

For more information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or http://www.ema.alabama.gov/.