Washington, DC -- Federal disaster aid was made available today for tornado victims in Greene County under a major disaster declaration issued for Ohio by President Clinton, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President's action authorizes the use of federal funds to help meet the recovery needs of county residents and business owners who sustained damage from the tornado and severe storms that hit the area on September 20. Witt designated the county eligible for the aid immediately after the declaration.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency 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.
Additionally, Witt said the declaration makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that more counties and additional forms of assistance for state and local government agencies may be made available later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Louis Botta of FEMA was named by Witt to serve as the federal coordinating officer for the recovery. Botta said affected residents and business owners in Greene County can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting Wednesday, September 27, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET) seven days a week until further notice.