Perkins, Sewell announce Federal Cost Share increase for FEMA by President Biden

Published 4:52 pm Friday, February 10, 2023

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President Joe Biden authorized an increase of 100% Federal cost share for the FEMA Public Assistance program on debris removal and other damages from the January 12 tornado that hit Selma and other parts of the state.

Biden’s Disaster Declaration changed the federal cost of the total eligible costs for a 30- day period of the State’s choosing within the first 120 days of the incident  period.

Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) said she’s grateful for Biden making a move to help Selma and other parts of the state recover from the tornado devastation.

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“I am beyond thankful to President Biden for this great news,” Sewell said. “From the beginning, President Biden has worked swiftly to respond to our calls by expediting the major disaster declaration for the State of Alabama. Now, with this critical increase in FEMA Public Assistance, I am confident that we will build back stronger than before.”

Selma Mayor James Perkins thanked President Biden, Sewell, Senators Tommy Tuberville, Katie Britt and Governor Kay Ivey in working together to provide the 100% reimbursement declaration.

“This is truly a blessing for Selma,” Perkins said. “Citizens of Selma, I know it has been tough to wait. But my insistence that we  wait is paying enormous dividends to our community.

Now we can manage  debris removal, continue day-to-day operations, and focus on development  without threatening the financial stability of our community.”   

“Despite pressures  to move prematurely, this decision was/is the best decision that we could have  possibly made for Selma. Thank for your patience. Together, let’s move forward.”

State Rep. Prince Chestnut said local and state officials talked with FEMA lawyers and federal officials on January 31 working to find a solution.

“It’s just a blessing to get the 100 percent from the White House,” Chestnut said. “The federal delegation, led by Terri Sewell, did a great job convincing the White House to get us over the finish line.”

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides supplemental grants to state, tribal, territorial, and local governments, and certain types of private non-profits so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. After an event like a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or wildfire, communities need help to cover their costs for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and restoring public infrastructure.

The Federal Cost Share relates only to public assistance provided to governmental entities and does not include individual assistance. Uninsured individuals in the designated areas who have been impacted by the January 12th storms still must apply for individual assistance at, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or by using the FEMA App.