St. Bernard Project offers free seminars, tips to tornado survivors to help with recovery efforts
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A Louisiana organization that started after Hurricane Katrina is hosting free seminars in Bowling Green for tornado survivors.
The St. Bernard Project is currently in town giving tips and training to survivors on navigating disaster assistance and FEMA relief. Some of the topics for Thursday’s seminar included filing an insurance claim, getting proof and documentation from contractors, and teaching those in attendance a little bit about the FEMA claim process.
“SBP works all over the United States. We’re also in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines doing volcano recovery,” said Andy Stofleth, an executive director of SBP, “So we’ve dealt with lots of disasters from hurricanes to tornadoes. You know, back in 2011, we actually were responding to the Joplin, Missouri tornado, which, you know, was predicted to be an eight-year recovery process from the government”.
“What we want to do is educate homeowners, and business owners and individuals in the community who’ve been impacted so that they make smart decisions that they get multiple estimates, so they can compare apples to apples on the estimates, right, getting itemized bids so that you can see how much you’re paying for both materials and labor,” said Stofleth, ”And you can compare that across multiple contractors to make sure that you’re getting a fair quote, right.”
One of the major things the organization stressed Thursday was for everyone in attendance to be their own advocate when it comes to the things they need.
“It’s a very complex process. So you just have to know that a no doesn’t mean no, when you’re dealing with FEMA, that it means Hey, I just need to provide us more documentation. And I need to reapply, I need to like continually have this conversation”, he said.
For anyone that missed the meeting, another one will be held Friday at the Neighborhood and Community Sevices Building on 701 E. Main Ave, on the first floor in the Community Room from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm.
“So we’re offering this training everywhere from Dresden, Tennessee, all the way to Bowling Green, it’s a lot of communities to cover that were in the impacted area,” he said, “And what I’d love is if every mayor that’s from one of these communities, Judge exec anyone would reach out to SBP and just let us know that hey, I want this training for my constituents so that we can put them on the path to recovery.”
For more information on SBP, visit their website at sbpusa.org/. If you have questions or need to apply for disaster assistance call 1-800-621-3362 or the hotline for tornado survivors 877-782-4219.
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