The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for Indiana to help families and businesses recover from the effects of the recent tornado and severe storms.
Acting FEMA Director R. David Paulisn, said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The declaration covers damage to private property from tornado and severe storms that occurred on Nov. 6, 2005.
Immediately after the President’s action, Paulison designated Vanderburgh and Warrick counties eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners.
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, Paulison said federal funds will be provided for the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Brad Gair of FEMA was named by Paulison to coordinate the federal relief effort. Gair said those who sustained losses in the counties designated for aid to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Fridays.
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