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Game Changers


Chairman's Circle

Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa

Hurricane Katrina Recovery Resources

One of the ways The Chamber of Commerce is helping local efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is to provide website information to help people and businesses locate emergency agencies, find needed resources, and learn how they can help. We plan to update this information on a regular basis.


Local Agencies

Tuscaloosa Hurricane Relief Emergency Hotline - (205) 345-7775

United Way of West Alabama - Primary coordinating contact - Tuscaloosa Hurricane Relief Emergency Hotline - (205) 345-7775 or email miles@uwwa.org

Tuscaloosa Prayer Network - Local primary contact for church network - (205) 758-0458

Salvation Army - national and local contact - 1-800-SAL-ARMY

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) - Your primary source for disaster assistance resources.
Individual Disaster Assistance Registration at www.fema.gov/assistance/register.shtm or 1-800-621-3362 / 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)

Community Service Center - This is a point of contact to register as a volunteer - Their office is located in the Ferguson Center, Room 355 or call (205) 348-2865.

Red Cross - national and local contact - 1-800-HELP-NOW

Tuscaloosa Emergency Services - (205) 758-5535
Donations accepted at 915 26th Avenue East (old Thrift Store in Alberta City). The distribution center in Alberta is 633-2858

West Alabama Food Bank - (205) 759-5519 - Serving member agencies - Monetary or food donations can be made at 1605 23rd Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Tuscaloosa Housing Authority - obtain vouchers for temporary housing - (205)758-6619.

Medicaid - Alabama Medicaid will honor Louisiana and Mississippi Medicaid. Visit a local pharmacy and ask them to log onto www.medicaid.state.al.us for instructions.

Governor's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives - www.servealabama.gov

Disaster Unemployment - The Department of Labor is working with state and local governments in disaster areas and relief sites to issue unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment assistance. For more information, call 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365) or visit America's Service Locator.

How You Can Help

Community Service Center is the point of contact to register as a volunteer in Tuscaloosa. Their office is located on UA Campus at Ferguson Center, Room 355 or call (205) 348-2865. A person cannot register through the local Red Cross - registration as a volunteer must be done at the CSC. Also, any volunteer project or effort in the community is asked to also register with CSC to help avoid duplication of effort.

People who wish to volunteer to house students or families are also requested to contact the Community Service Center.

To sign up to help the Salvation Army with cooking, delivering of meals, etc, also call the Community Service Center.

Donations of money are needed to support Salvation Army and can be sent through the Community Service Center - designate funds for specific agencies locally.

Non-perishable food donations are still very much needed to re-stock the West Alabama Food Bank. Donations may be brought to the Community Service Center or directly to the West Alabama Food Bank at 1605 23rd Avenue. Craig Young, Executive Director, may be reached at 205-759-5519.

Daily and weekly updates are being posted on CSC's website at http://volunteer.ua.edu.

Housing Information

Governor Bob Riley is offering hotel and lodge rooms and camp sites suitable for emergency housing trailers at Alabama's 22 state parks to evacuees who have fled from Hurricane Katrina's path of destruction. The effort is part of a plan to address temporary housing needs of those who escaped the storm-battered Gulf Coast in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Evacuees in need of the trailers or rooms must first register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. FEMA will then coordinate its resources and direct evacuees to nearby locations for this temporary housing assistance.

Emergency Katrina Housing Programs, HUD - Housing Hot line: 1-866-641-8102. Toll-free number for Section 8 voucher holders and public housing residents: 1-800-955-2232.

Housing and Shelter Update from FEMA - News on evacuees, active duty troops in the area, search, rescue, security and more.

Other Housing Websites:

FEMA Information


Your primary source for disaster assistance resources. Individual Disaster Assistance Registration at http://www.fema.gov/assistance/register.shtm or 1-800-621-3362 / 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)

Instructions for evacuees

  • Emergency management officials are appealing to residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who evacuated in advance of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall to stay put. Many storm related deaths occur when residents return to their communities and homes.
  • Returning residents could face blocked and washed out roads, downed power lines across highways, unsafe road crossings due to flooding and many other dangers. View maps of flooded areas and closed roads
  • You can call the American Red Cross’ information line at 1-866-GET-INFO for information regarding emergency assistance and public safety information and road closures. In addition, Louisiana residents can call the Louisiana State Police at 800-469-4828 to check on roadways that are open and safe for travel in less impacted areas.

Evacuees In Shelters

For immediate housing needs, the American Red Cross and other volunteer agencies set up shelters for people who cannot return to their homes. Listen to your radio or watch local media for the location of the nearest volunteer agency facility.
For health and space reasons, pets are not permitted in public emergency shelters. Contact the emergency management office or your local animal shelter or humane society to see if there is a shelter set-up to take pets in an emergency.

The U.S. Postal Service is reconnecting displaced and evacuated Hurricane Katrina victims with their mail. Hurricane victims in areas without telephone service or internet access should go to the nearest post office, complete a change-of-address form, and submit it to a postal retail associate at the counter or mail it. For more information visit www.usps.com or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

We are asking that all people who are registered and have been housed in shelters use the Shelter Address listed as their Current Mailing Address. This is extremely important for tracking and providing assistance to sheltered applicants. A shelter list with mailing addresses for each location will be posted on this webpage.

(This information provided from the FEMA website at www.fema.gov)

Doing Business with FEMA During The Hurricane Katrina Recovery

Hurricane Katrina caused massive destruction and damage that will require a multitude of services and products during the recovery process. The services of independent contractors are usually acquired through sealed bidding or negotiations, however FEMA accepts capability statements and information packages.

The following information should be included:

  • Company name
  • Business address
  • Contact information
  • Type of service or product offered
  • Type of equipment
  • Number of workers being provided
  • Cost for service or product
  • Whether the company is volunteering services

FEMA also procures goods and services through the General Service Administration's Federal Supply Schedule, www.gsa.gov/regions.htm, and identifies qualified small businesses through the U.S. Small Business Administration's Pro-net. Companies can register with Pro-Net on the SBA's website (www.sba.gov).

In addition, state and local governments make purchases for disaster recovery services and products. Check the emergency management or other appropriate websites of the affected states for information.

For more information about doing business with FEMA, visit www.fema.gov/business/contractor.shtm or call FEMA Acquisitions at 1-800-621-FEMA.

The Department of Homeland Security has set up a Web site for similar reasons. If you have resources to donate or sell to the response agencies, please register those items in the National Emergency Resource Registry, accessible at: www.swern.gov. The response agencies will be checking this directory as the need for materials and services become known.

Locate Family and Friends

Red Cross's Locate People Lists - For those who do not have Internet access to www.redcross.org, please call 1 877-LOVED-1S, a toll-free hot line for finding family members.

National Next of Kin Registry - Nonprofit organization: Register people missing in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Missing and Found Children, Lost Loved Ones Hot Line - U.S. Department of Justice is working with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. See posted photos of children of Katrina, and call their hot line: 1-888-544-5475.

FirstGov.gov - a large list of different websites and contact to help you find your loved ones.

Medical Information

Medicaid - Alabama Medicaid will honor Louisiana and Mississippi Medicaid. Visit a local pharmacy and ask them to log onto www.medicaid.state.al.us for instructions.

STAR: The Alabama Statewide Assistive Technology Program is attempting to locate any Hurricane Evacuees
that are residing in Alabama (currently/permanently) who have a disability and that are in need of DME (durable medical equipment) as we are collectively attempting to meet as many of their needs as possible (free of charge). For more information contact Pamela Blome, PhD - 334-613-3480 / 800-STAR-656 , Statewide Assistive Technology Resource,2125 East South Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36120



Labor Exchange for Alabama Employers, Hurricane Victims and Evacuees:

For hurricane evacuees to find work or for employers to find workers, contact the nearest career center or call toll free (866) 767-8103. For the location of the nearest career center, call toll-free (877) US2-JOBS (877-872-5627)(877-889-5627 TTY). Employers and jobseekers many register at http://www.joblink.alabama.gov

Disaster Unemployment - The Department of Labor is working with state and local governments in disaster areas and relief sites to issue unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment assistance. For more information, call 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365) or visit America's Service Locator.

Job Training for Evacuees

Job training for evacuees can be provided with a federal grant that has been secured from the U.S. Department of Labor by the Alabama Office of Workforce Development. The purpose of this grant is to provide short-term training for eligible evacuees who may need such training to work in one of Alabama's high-growth occupations. For more information, call toll-free (866) 767-8103.

The Department of Labor

The Department of Labor has also established a Hurricane Recovery Assistance page at www.dol.gov/opa/hurricane-recovery.htm. The site includes information about how to access unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment assistance, steps to keep workers safe during clean-up and recovery operations, and provides access to public service announcements and news releases, among other information.

Employment Agencies

Small Business Help

In an effort to provide faster assistance to business owners in the areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Small Business Administration today said it would use an expedited process for disaster loans under $100,000 for businesses that can meet specified criteria.

While the streamlining of the application process will enhance the SBA's ability to get money in the hands of disaster survivors more quickly, Administrator Hector V. Barreto also encouraged business owners to submit their applications as soon as possible.

"Within the last few days the agency has introduced initiatives aimed at speeding up the disaster loan application process. Meanwhile, the sooner the SBA receives the disaster loan application, the sooner the loan funds can be disbursed," Barreto said.

The business owners must have satisfactory credit, a gross income greater than $25,000, and a satisfactory SBA loan history. Additional requirements include a controlling ownership by an individual or group of individuals and a verifiable federal tax return with 12 months of operations.

Homeowners, renters and businesses in the areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are encouraged to apply for federal assistance by registering online with FEMA at www.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free numbers will operate 24 hours daily until
further notice.

SBA disaster loans to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations are available up to $1.5 million to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $1.5 million are also available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses.

The SBA offers loans of up to $200,000 to repair disaster damaged primary residences. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to replace personal property such as furniture and clothing. Interest rates can be as low as 2.68 percent for homeowners and renters and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based upon each applicant's financial condition.

For more information on SBA's disaster loan program, call the SBA's customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., email questions to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov <mailto:disastercustomerserve@sba.gov> , or visit the Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.


Enrollment in Community College

Mississippi and Louisiana residents who evacuated and were enrolled in a community college in their home state may enroll in a community college in Alabama for free. For information regarding enrollment in a community college, call (866) 767-8103 or in Montgomery call (334) 242-2900.

Drivers License Information

The Alabama Department of Public Safety has established a toll-free number for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina who are
seeking replacement driver licenses or identification cards.

The toll-free number, 1-866-283-2838, is available to residents of Alabama who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and to
evacuees from storm-ravaged areas of Mississippi and Louisiana who have sought shelter in Alabama.

Additional information, including driver licensing contact information for Mississippi and Louisiana, also is available at the Department of Public Safety's Web site, www.dps.state.al.us.

Social Security and SSI Recipients

Social Security and SSI recipient evacuees can go to the Federal Building on Greensboro Avenue and immediately receive the checks they may have missed due to Katrina. Checks may be cashed across the street from the Federal Building at National Bank of Commerce or The Bank of Tuscaloosa.

Emergency Contact Information

American Red Cross - English, 800-HELP NOW (435-7669), Spanish, 800-257-7575
America’s Second Harvest – (800) 344-8070
Christian Disaster Response – (941) 956-5183, or (941) 551-9554
FEMA - 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) - Reservations for state park campsites & state park lodges
Red Cross – (205) 758-3608
Salvation Army, (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769), (205) 758-2804
Temporary Emergency Services – (clothing only) (205) 758-5535 (Clothing donations are needed)
United Way of West AL – (205) 345-6640, Info & referral (205) 345-7775
Samaritans Purse - www.samaritanspurse.org

County Emergency Management Agencies

Tuscaloosa (205) 349-0150
Bibb (205) 926-3113
Fayette (205) 932-6113 or 932-1911
Greene (205) 372-9609
Hale (334) 624-8160
Lamar (205) 695-7105
Marengo (334) 295-8870
Perry (334) 683-8696
Pickens (205) 367-2009
Sumter (205) 392-2001 or (205) 652-2841 after hours

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