Doug Jones asks Donald Trump to aid Alabamians impacted by Hurricane Michael

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It has been a month since Hurricane Michael ravaged parts the Yellowhammer State and communities throughout the state are still recovering.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Doug Jones asked President Donald Trump to step in and help.

Jones wrote the president a letter requesting approval for Individual Assistance (IA) grants for Alabamians who were impacted by the storm. Individual assistance makes federal funding available to individuals and households, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs. Low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs are also made available under federal individual assistance.

A Major Disaster Declaration was approved last 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.

According to Jones, IA grants are vital in order for impacted Alabamians to fully recover.

“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,” 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.”

The full text of Jones’ letter is below:

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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