Nightly News | May 03, 2011
>>> the american south is of course suffering through another disaster, and once again we're hearing that name, fema, in the rush to get relief to folks in the tornado zone, where we were late last week. this time they are trying to do things right. nbc's ron mott reports on some hard-hit communities in alabama .
>> did you find something?
>> a picture my son made.
>> reporter: on a dreary day in tuscaloosa christie and scott greki are looking on the bright side.
>> a picture my 2-year-old son drew for us.
>> reporter: though their rental is flat end they're building another new house that could be ready in eight weeks.
>> at least we have that to go to and to look forward to. it's just going to be two months in a hotel.
>> reporter: today christie applied for federal aid at a fema registration center, one of 23,000 tornado victims to do so in alabama .
>> fema's done a great job of getting information out there on how victims can get in touch with fema.
>> reporter: with at least 20 shelters open around the state and emergency supplies and food making their ways to those in damaged neighborhoods, residents are largely giving thumbs up to the overall response effort, an effort covering a lot of ground. from the destruction in tuscaloosa to small towns to the north hit just as hard. here in the outlying less populated areas there perhaps are a few more challenges but the response has been just as active. tornado victims have been streaming in since over the weekend, and volunteers hope much-needed donations will continue to flow in as well. but there are those in remote locations like elbert nixon of haileyville who feel left out.
>> the only people that's been up through here is volunteers or family members to help people.
>> reporter: fema's administrator, who toured the devastation, acknowledged his agency hasn't made it around to all affected areas just yet.
>> in this case getting everybody in to get out there is taking us a little bit longer but we're coming.
>> reporter: people like the grekis are waiting.
>> i feel really good about the future. i mean, so many people have come forward to us and i mean immediately following the storm we had help right off the bat.
>> reporter: others are waiting, too. optimistic about what lie ahead, the worst they hope behind them. ron mott, nbc news, hamilton, alabama .