Sep 21 2004


In response to the damage from Hurricane Ivan, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is providing updated disaster related information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Army Corps of Engineers, and the American Red Cross.


To register for disaster assistance, call FEMA’s toll-free teleregistration line: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (hearing/speech impaired). This line is open 24 hours a day, and residents are encouraged to try calling late in the evening or early in the morning to reduce call waiting time. Currently, there is one FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) operating in Alabama at Robertsdale High School open from 8:00 a.m to 5:30 p.m. Additional DRCs may be designated at a later time.



  • All airports are reported open.


  • There has been no report of Interstate closures. Approximately 90 percent of State or US routes previously closed due to Hurricane Ivan have been cleared and re-opened to traffic. Routes remaining closed are mostly in the southern section of Baldwin County.


  • The Port of Mobile has opened with draft restrictions to 40 ft.


As of 4:00 pm on September 20, Alabama Power reported 183,332 customers without power. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has restored essentially all if its customers. Electrical Cooperatives report 93,294 of the customer base without power. Alabama Power provided the following restoration targets for its customers:


  • Southeast - 9/19


  • Birmingham - 9/21


  • Eastern - 9/21


  • Tuscaloosa - 9/21


  • Montgomery - 9/23


  • Mobile - 9/24



The following information has been provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the delivery of ice, water, generators, and debris management services to Alabama’s storm-damaged communities.


  • Ice and Water: Emergency supplies of drinking water and ice for temporary refrigeration have been delivered to distribution sites in Alabama. Locations are being announced on radio and TV stations and are listed in newspapers.



  • Debris management: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a contract with Phillips & Jordan, Inc., a large waste management firm. Counties can choose to have Phillips & Jordan manage their debris cleanup effort. They can also choose to receive technical assistance from Corps contracting specialists if they decide to contract for the work themselves. The Corps will help counties remove debris from public rights of way and to haul, reduce, and dispose of debris in accordance with environmental requirements. The Corps has no authority to work on private properties. To date, cities in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia counties have requested the Corps contractor to assist with their storm debris cleanup. Small businesses or independent contractors can subcontract with Phillips & Jordan to help with the debris cleanup effort. Those who are interested in such work can visit or call 813-783-1132 to speak with someone at the 24-hour contracting help desk.



  • Generators: The Corps has sent generators to critical facilities like hospitals, water treatment plants, and sewer plants until normal power returns. The Corps then removes and services the generators, getting them ready for the next place that may need them. Requests for emergency generators should be made to the Alabama State Emergency Operations Center.



  • Operation Blue Roof: Operation Blue Roof will assist with temporary roof repairs on residences and other non-commercial structures. The repairs are intended to protect structures until people can work with their insurance companies or otherwise arrange for a permanent repair. There is no charge for this service. To get an Operation Blue Roof repair, homeowners must sign a Right of Entry form. This allows the government to assess the roof damage, determine if a temporary fix can be accomplished, and send contract workers to fix the roof. Information about Operation Blue Roof is available by telephone at 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258). Please stay on the line to hear general information about the program and press the appropriate number to learn the status of the program in Alabama. The message is updated daily.


  • Tarps for self-help roof repair: The Corps has ordered tarps that people can use to make temporary roof repairs on their own. As they arrive, these tarps are being delivered to 13 affected counties for distribution. Information about distribution will be released as soon as supplies are on the ground. Those who use a tarp for self-help repair can still participate in Operation Blue Roof.


For Hurricane Ivan information from the American Red Cross, please dial 1-866-GET-INFO or visit or


  • Impact Assessment: In response to Hurricane Ivan, the American Red Cross’ immediate priority is to continue to ensure that those in need of shelter have a place to stay. Operations include providing for the basic needs of victims with the distribution of meals, cleanup kits, and comfort kits; psychological/mental health support; financial assistance for basic needs (clothing, groceries, bedding, etc.); and assistance in the long term recovery needs.


  • Mass Care: There are currently 490 Red Cross workers responding to the areas affected by Ivan in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The American Red Cross has provided 165,033 meals and snacks to date in response to the areas affected by Hurricane Ivan in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Red Cross has deployed its two portable kitchen trailers to Mobile and Pensacola. In partnership with the Southern Baptists Disaster Relief program, the Red Cross will operate 8 kitchens in Alabama and 5 kitchens in Florida.


  • There are currently 7 shelters open in Alabama. For shelter locations, please call 1-866-GET-INFO.


  • There are 44 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) supporting disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Ivan. Each ERV is capable of distributing 5,000 meals per day or can be used for giving out clean-up, comfort and salvage supplies. Contents of a comfort kit include shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste and lotion. A cleanup kit includes: broom; mop; pail; scrub brush; sponge; disinfectant; detergent/degreaser; bleach; gloves; and trash bags.


  • Emergency Financial Assistance: The Red Cross will provide direct financial assistance to disaster victims in the form of Client Assistance Cards for basic needs such as food, clothes and temporary housing. This will be done through call centers set up by the American Red Cross. Red Cross workers will meet with clients, and determine the amount of assistance the Red Cross can provide and then credits the card with a specific dollar amount. Please call 1-866-GET-INFO for more information.


  • Mental Health Services: The Red Cross provides mental heath services to disaster victims by providing immediate crisis counseling by licensed mental health professionals. In the event a victim needs longer-term care, the Red Cross will refer them to other community-based professionals.


  • Damage Assessment: Red Cross Disaster Assessment teams are determining the number of dwellings affected and the extent of damage to residences by Hurricane Ivan. This helps the American Red Cross determine how many families may be affected, the type of assistance needed, and the best method of service delivery. Damage is categorized in the following ways: destroyed (inhabitable, cannot be made habitable); major damage (inhabitable, but can be repaired); minor damage (currently habitable, but requires repair); and affected (dwelling has received extremely minor damage).