COXEY, Ala. (WHNT) - In Limestone County, FEMA workers started going door-to-door Wednesday asking storm victims if they've signed up for assistance yet. The government knows hundreds of families are eligible but so far only a small percentage of those families have registered for FEMA assistance.
FEMA representatives say they tend to believe those who had homeowners insurance are leaning on their insurance carriers for the help they'll need. But both FEMA and the Small Business Administration say they can help make up the difference between what the insurance will and will not cover.
"This is a Disaster Survivor Assistance Team. They are going out in this neighborhood in western Limestone County to see if there are people who may not have registered with FEMA," according to FEMA spokesperson Nate Custer.
The FEMA workers fanned out along Log Cabin Road in Limestone County. Most of the homes through here sustained major damage. It was difficult to find any of the residents.
"If they find people who have not registered, they have mobile tablets and they can register them right here on the spot," Custer told WHNT News 19.
The April 28th tornado damaged or destroyed more than 700 homes, but as of Saturday, only 57 families had applied for FEMA assistance.
"We are trying to help these survivors who have had a disasterous, catastrophic situation in many cases, and especially those people who do not have insurance. We can often make the difference in getting some needed repairs done for these people," Custer said.
The FEMA workers moved all along the neighborhood, but we only saw only one person who they were able to register for assistance.
Says Custer, "Some of them may feel because they have insurance they're going to be okay. Even if you have insurance, we want you to register because that insurance could fall short of what it's going to cost to get you back whole again."
We visited another hard-hit neighborhood where most of the residents did not have insurance, and there's a tremendous amount of help available for them. Registering with FEMA does not obligate you to taking out a loan or even accepting any assistance if you don't want or need it. It does, however, guarantee you'll be able to discuss your particular situation with an agent if something crops up down the road related to the storm damage. The deadline to register is July 1st.
To apply for disaster assistance on-line, click here.