JeffCo EMA in a holding pattern to find out if it will receive FEMA assistance following deadly tornado

Fultondale storm victims still hoping for federal help

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County EMA said it’s in a holding pattern with the federal government to find out if those impacted by last month’s deadly tornado will receive assistance.

The Jefferson County EMA said it has completed preliminary damage assessments and has worked with the State EMA to send a letter to the governor to start the disaster declaration process.

An application for individual assistance has been submitted to FEMA through the state. And the Jefferson County EMA is now waiting to hear the results.

“With what documentation that we have, we have not met that $7.5 million state threshold, but we are still pulling data,” said Emergency Management Officer, Melissa Sizemore.

Sizemore said there is a $4.5 million threshold in Jefferson County alone.

And since it was the only county touched in last month’s deadly tornado, the state threshold must also be met.

“Which is almost an additional $4 million. So, it’s an even larger gap that we have to fill with uninsured losses and expenditures towards the response to the tornado that we have to fill, and we’re doing all we can to try to fill that gap as much as possible,” Sizemore explained.

City and county leaders are still gathering information to submit an application for public assistance.

The deadline is February 25th.

“But I can assure that even if we do not get federal assistance, the city of Fultondale or agency in the county, we’re going to do anything that we can to help provide the people the things they need,” Sizemore said.

Fultondale Fire Chief, Justin McKenzie, suggest calling 2-1-1 to get on a list for help, and said case workers will be working with individuals to get them temporary and long-term housing and other assistance.

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