The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that President Bush has ordered federal disaster aid to help families and businesses in eastern Ohio recover from the remnants of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan.
Michael Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the President took the action under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA’s analysis of the state’s request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to private property from severe storms and flooding beginning on Sept. 8.
After the declaration, Brown designated the following 15 counties eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Washington.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
In addition, Brown said federal funding will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that damage surveys are continuing and additional designations may be made later based on the results of the assessments.
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