Ohio Gov. Declares Emergency for Highland County

January 3, 2005

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has declared an emergency in Highland County as a result of the recent severe weather storm, bringing the total number of counties to receive state emergency assistance to 21.

“Ohioans have shown extreme compassion during this emergency, and we are working hard to ensure that we provide assistance to those who were affected,” said Taft.

As a result of the Governor’s emergency declaration, disaster assistance is now available for residents of the affected counties through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Families in Highland County may qualify for up to $1,500 in disaster assistance, and certain elderly and disabled individuals may qualify for up to $750 in disaster assistance. Individuals and families may apply for this assistance at the Highland County Department of Job and Family Services.

In order to be eligible for up to $1,500 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) disaster assistance, families must include a child or pregnant woman and have evidence of economic need. Elderly and disabled individuals in these counties who are not eligible for TANF assistance may be eligible for disaster assistance of up to $750. To be eligible for this type of assistance, a person must be at least 55 years old and childless, or receiving certain disability benefits, impacted by the severe weather and provide evidence of an economic need to the county department of job and family services.

Each year, ODJFS reserves at least $5 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding for disaster victims in counties declared in a state of emergency. Since the current state fiscal year began in July more than $10 million in TANF funds have been allocated for disaster relief.

Throughout the state, Ohio Department of Transportation crews have been working to remove the snow, limbs and clear the way for utility companies. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is continuing to help in traffic control and assistance efforts throughout affected jurisdictions. Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is currently working with utility companies to have power restored to those customers still without power. The Ohio Emergency Management Agency is facilitating state resources and is working with county EMAs to meet their needs. Over the holiday weekend, 76 members of the Ohio National Guard assisted with snow removal in Montgomery County.

For updated information about the clean-up process, visit: http://ema.ohio.gov

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