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November 08, 2018

Senator Jones Calls for President Trump to Approve Individual Assistance for Alabamians Impacted by Hurricane Michael

Birmingham, Ala. – Today, U.S. Senator Doug Jones wrote a letter to President Trump to request approval for Individual Assistance (IA) grants for Alabamians who were impacted by Hurricane Michael last month. A Major Disaster Declaration was approved earlier this week, but it only provided Public Assistance (PA) grants. PA funds can be directed to local governments and community organizations, but cannot go to individuals who are recovering from a natural disaster. IA grants are vital in order for impacted Alabamians to fully recover. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency has requested the IA grants and provided additional evidence to demonstrate that certain Alabama counties qualify for assistance.

“The people of Alabama are grateful for the Public Assistance grants approved in the Major Disaster Declaration dated November 5, 2018, but more relief is clearly needed,” Senator Jones wrote. “I am aware that a determination as to the availability of Individual Assistance (IA) grants is still under review, and I urge you to approve IA grants as soon as possible. The effects of Hurricane Michael have been devastating to our state, and without individual federal assistance, many areas may never fully recover.”

Pointing out that neighboring counties in Florida and Georgia received IA grants, Jones went on to write, “The people and the State of Alabama are resilient, but as in Georgia and Florida, the recovery efforts in this case require resources beyond their reserves.”

Senator Jones continues to engage with federal, state, local leaders, and residents to ensure that Alabama gets the resources it needs to fully recover from this devastating hurricane. Last week, he visited the Wiregrass region to listen to local farmers to better understand the extent of the damage their crops sustained as well as their unique recovery needs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not yet approved the State of Alabama’s application for an agricultural disaster declaration, which Senator Jones supported in a recent letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.

 

Full text of Senator Jones’ letter to President Trump is available below and here.

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

I write to thank you for the support you have provided the citizens of the State of Alabama in their efforts to recover from damage caused by Hurricane Michael in October. The people of Alabama are grateful for the Public Assistance grants approved in the Major Disaster Declaration dated November 5, 2018, but more relief is clearly needed. I am aware that a determination as to the availability of Individual Assistance (IA) grants is still under review, and I urge you to approve IA grants as soon as possible. The effects of Hurricane Michael have been devastating to our state, and without individual federal assistance, many areas may never fully recover.

The supplemental materials submitted by Brian Hastings, Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, on November 5, 2018, show that adjacent counties in the States of Georgia and Florida experienced similar impacts and have already been approved for IA grants. The people and the State of Alabama are resilient, but as in Georgia and Florida, the recovery efforts in this case require resources beyond their reserves.

Thank you very much for your prompt consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Doug Jones

United States Senator

CC:      Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security
           Administrator Brock Long, Federal Emergency Management Agency
           Ms. Gracia Szczech, Regional Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
           Col. Brian Hastings, Director, Alabama Emergency Management Agency

 

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