Sewell hosts disaster assistance town hall meeting


The aftermath of the tornadoes that hit Selma and other parts of Alabama Jan. 12 left many families and businesses with major property damage. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, who represents much of West Alabama, hosted a virtual town hall meeting focused on disaster assistance.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said many of Selma residents have already registered for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We got hit pretty hard but are thankful for our federal delegation that has been responsive and responsible,” said Perkins.

FEMA assistance is available in areas including Elmore, Coosa, Hale, Dallas, Autauga Greene and Sumter counties.

Sewell said it is important that anyone who was impacted by the storm apply for FEMA assistance before March 16.

Residents with insurance coverage should apply for help through their insurance first.

“We need to make sure we are not duplicating benefits because if you do have another source that could provide those benefits and you did not exhaust it and if FEMA gave you the money then they will seek reimbursement back from you,” said Sewell.

Anyone who wishes to appeal how much they’re given by FEMA has 60 days to appeal.

You can also get help in the following ways:

If you need assistance, be sure you have the following on hand:

  • A phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • Banking information if you choose direct deposit
  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name

If you have homeowners, renters or flood insurance, file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. FEMA will not duplicate any benefits for losses that are covered by insurance, but if your policy doesn’t cover all your disaster expenses, you may be eligible for federal assistance.

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