Disaster assistance has been expanded in nine counties to include aid for homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent winter storms and flooding in Ohio, federal and state recovery officials announced.
With this amendment to the presidential disaster declaration of Feb. 15, 2005, the total number of Ohio counties now eligible for federal and state individual assistance comes to 27 with the addition of the following counties: Darke, Fairfield, Guernsey, Hocking, Holmes, Licking, Richland, Stark and Tuscarawas.
Lee Champagne, federal coordinating officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Nancy Dragani, state coordinating officer and executive director of Ohio Emergency Management Agency, said assistance to the additional areas was approved based on a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials.
“We remain committed to ensuring that every qualified individual, family and business receives the help they need to recover from the severe storms and flooding that occurred between December 22, 2004 and February 1, 2005,” Champagne said.
Affected residents and business owners in any declared county may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Phone lines will be open between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairment may call TTY 1-800-462-7585. People may also register online at www.fema.gov. Those who have already called to register need not do so again.
Champagne said calling these numbers is the only way to apply for a wide range of state and federal disaster assistance programs. Those programs can provide funding for temporary disaster housing assistance, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and business owners to repair or replace real or personal property, replacement grants to help meet serious un-covered, disaster-related needs; and, disaster unemployment assistance.
Disaster-designated counties are: Athens, Belmont, Clark, Coshocton, Crawford, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Guernsey, Henry, Hocking, Holmes, Jefferson, Licking, Logan, Morgan, Muskingum, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Tuscarawas, Warren and Washington.
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