As of Oct. 19, more than $100 million in FEMA grants, National Flood Insurance and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration had been approved for Alabama’s Hurricane Sally survivors, according to the governor’s office.
BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS: Businesses and residents in Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile counties plus small businesses/nonprofits in five nearby counties can apply for low-interest disaster loans related to Hurricane Sally from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Those in the three hardest-hit counties are eligible for both Physical (apply by Nov. 19) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (apply by June 21, 2021). Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Clarke, Conecuh, Covington, Monroe and Washington counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
SBA’s Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center/Business Recovery Center is open from 7 a.m. CDT / 8 a.m. EDT to 7 p.m. CDT / 8 p.m. EDT for this in the Hurricane Sally disaster declaration areas:
>> Email: FOCE-Help@sba.gov
>> Phone: (800) 659-2955
SBA opens Business Recovery Center in Gulf Shores: Open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST), starting Friday, Oct. 1, at the Gulf Shores Activity Center, 260 Clubhouse Drive, Gulf Shores, AL 36543.
IRS announces tax relief: Individuals and businesses in Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile counties now have until Jan. 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies filing and payment relief.
AGRICULTURE: On Oct. 20, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue designated Baldwin and Mobile counties as primary agricultural disaster areas, which also makes assistance available to neighboring Clarke, Escambia, Monroe and Washington counties. The designation gives farmers access to a number of USDA programs including emergency loans, the Emergency Conservation Program, Tree Assistant Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).
USDA announces approval of D-SNAP for Alabama disaster areas (Sept. 30 news release)
INDIVIDUALS: As of 7 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, individuals in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia counties can apply for public assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency related to widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sally. The federal funding is available to help those in the affected counties pay for temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured losses.
Individuals must register with FEMA before the assistance process can begin. You can register one of three ways from 6 a.m. – midnight:
- Call 1-800-621-3362
- Register online at www.disasterassistance.gov
- FEMA app on your cell phone
On Oct. 14, the federal disaster declaration was amended to allow public assistance for the governments of Barbour, Butler, Clarke, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Geneva, Houston and Pike counties, as well as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Four counties – Baldwin, Conecuh, Escambia and Mobile – had previously been declared eligible for public assistance.
FEMA also has approved hazard mitigation statewide for Alabama and one tribe.
At 6 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, Alabama’s coastal areas reopened following the Sept. 16 landfall of Hurricane Sally in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. While beaches reopened, some public beach access points in Orange Beach, Gulf State Park and Gulf Shores remained closed until mid-October.
STATE OF EMERGENCY: Effective at 6 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14, Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency related to Hurricane Sally. In a supplemental order, evacuation was strongly recommended. Alabama beaches closed.
The state of emergency suspends COVID-19 orders that would endanger lives affected by the storm or would impede response to the storm. With that one exception, COVID-19 orders remain in place.
The statewide emergency proclamation prohibits price gouging and eases transportation restrictions for the movement of emergency supplies throughout the state. Shelters are open for those seeking refuge and the Alabama National Guard has been activated to respond to assist in affected communities.
>> Governor’s Proclamation | Supplemental Order
>> Presidential Major Disaster Declaration
>> SBA Disaster Declaration Details | SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Portal
>> FEMA Individual and Public Assistance Declaration
Federal Emergency Declaration Hazard Mitigation
>> Agriculture & Industries Hurricane Sally Damage Assessment Survey (For farmers and producers who experienced agricultural damage related to Hurricane Sally)
>> Alabama EMA details on landfall
>> Temporary Suspension of Alabama Terminal Excise Tax Requirements
>> Temporary Suspension of Requirements Associated with International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement
When Alabama experiences a state of emergency, Alabama’s price gouging law is in effect.
ALABAMA’S PRICE GOUGING LAW: Makes it unlawful for anyone to raise prices on commodities or lodging by more than 25 percent during the declared state of emergency. To avoid violating Alabama’s price gouging law, figure the price charged for each of the previous 30 days. Add the 30 daily prices, divide by 30, and multiply the price by .25, or 25 percent, to figure the maximum price increase allowed for any one day. The exception is if a wholesale price increases by more than 25 percent and merchants have no choice but to pass along the price increase.
The fine for violating Alabama’s price gouging law can be up to $1,000 per incident. Those who willfully and continually violate the law can be banned from doing business in Alabama.
The declaration also allows truck drivers delivering disaster-related supplies and goods to Alabama to exceed the hours of service or spend less time off duty than required by federal law. The waiver only applies to the time a driver is delivering the disaster supplies for up to 30 days after the emergency declaration, or until the declaration ends. Under federal law, a driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The proclamation loosens that regulation only as it relates to the timely delivery of disaster supplies for the 30 days or less of the emergency declaration.
The order also allows the Alabama Department of Transportation to issue weight waivers for vehicles and loads. Bridge and other structural weight limits and well as insurance requirements remain.
ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS
For real-time road conditions, the Alabama Department of Transportation encourages you to visit https://algotraffic.com/ or download the ALGO Traffic app available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
OVERWEIGHT OR OVERSIZE LOADS
For information on permitting related to oversize or overweight loads, contact the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Enforcement Office from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. CST Monday – Friday.
- For medical and life-threatening emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
- Drivers can report an accident or other emergencies to state troopers by dialing *HP on their cellular devices.
- Businesses that want to know how to help or donate to relief efforts, call 2-1-1.
Click the links below for more of your local weather information.
Visit Alabama Retail’s Emergency Preparedness page for other links to the state’s emergency management resource.
Originally posted at 12:45 p.m. Sept. 14