BEAUREGARD, AL (WTVM) - Many tornado survivors are not seeking all the help that’s available, according to Lee County officials.
Over 400 homes in Lee County were destroyed by the tornado, and it’s estimated that several hundred more are facing damage.
FEMA representative Carmen Rodriguez said no matter if the damage is as small as a broken window or if your entire house was leveled, you should still contact FEMA.
Though almost 10 days have passed since the deadly tornado, it’s not too late to seek help. In fact, FEMA officials are encouraging it.
“FEMA is still here, and we’re searching for people who have not registered yet,” Rodriguez said.
She said the the first step is to reach out to local aid like the Red Cross or local churches.
This is for things that need to be handled quickly, such as food or clothing.
“If they need medications renewed, we have a whole nursing section where they will help them pay for and usually take care of refills of any type of medication," said Dianne Mollica, a Red Cross volunteer.
The next step is to register with FEMA. To do this, you’ll need your social security number, the address of the property that was damaged, contact information, bank account routing and account number, and photos of the damage.
Rodriguez said it is also important to record the case number.
A FEMA representative will be calling from an unknown number, within 5 to 10 days.
After an appointment with the representative, a letter will be sent explaining what assistance, if any, will be provided.
"It doesn't matter if you have insurance, you still need to register with FEMA. Why? Because FEMA might help you probably with those things insurance isn't covering."
Assistance from FEMA will be directly deposited into a bank account or sent via check to a verified location.
Amounts of assistance vary from very small amounts up to about $33,000. This is based on damage, household income, and the number of family members.
FEMA can also help with temporary housing and is paying for rental houses and hotel rooms for eligible families. If you need FEMA assistance, please call 1-800-621-3362 or go to https://www.disasterassistance.gov/.