Posted by: Michael Byrne, Federal Coordinating Officer
Birmingham, AL, June 27, 2011 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate addresses employees at the Joint Field Office in Birmingham.
On Monday, Administrator Craig Fugate visited the Birmingham Joint Field Office, underscoring the agency’s ongoing focus on Alabama’s recovery from the April tornadoes. The Administrator toured the state in the immediate days following the storm, meeting with federal, state and local officials and ensuring they had the resources needed to respond and recover.
In a series of joint state and FEMA meetings, we briefed the Administrator on the progress made thus far and, more importantly, on our commitment going forward.
President Barack Obama recently called him "one of the busiest men in the nation," but the administrator assured everyone that the agency will remain in Alabama until all projects are closed and the communities in this state have what they need to rebuild – safer and more resilient than before.
Birmingham, AL, June 27, 2011 -- FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate addresses employees at the Joint Field Office in Birmingham. Alabama was struck by a series of devastating tornadoes in April.
The administrator’s message was simple: “The urgency we put into getting the recovery started is the same urgency we need to get projects completed.” I cannot agree more, nor say it any better.
With last Friday’s announcement of a three-week registration deadline extension to July 18, survivors now have more time to register with FEMA and apply for U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans.
More than $100 million in federal disaster assistance has already been approved to help survivors of the Alabama tornadoes, including more than $59 million in FEMA individual assistance program grants and almost $46 million in low-interest SBA disaster loans.
We expect those numbers to grow in the next three weeks as we focus on making certain disaster survivors are returning their SBA disaster loan applications.
Looking ahead, FEMA will be in Alabama long after the deadline, supporting the state and local communities for as long as it takes to rebuild the great state of Alabama.
To use Administrator Fugate’s words again, "We leave here when the work is done."
Blog posts about President Obama and Secretary Napolitano's visits to Alabama