Kansas City, MO -- This afternoon, in less than 48 hours after tornadoes and severe storms battered Kansas, President Bush declared seven counties in the state a disaster area. The President has expressed his personal concern for the people of Kansas who suffered losses from the storms.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teams are working with state officials to identify and assist Kansas residents who sustained property damage from the severe storms, tornadoes and floods that battered the state earlier this week.
The May 6 declaration made federal assistance available to eligible homeowners, renters, and business owners located in Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Leavenworth, Miami, Neosho and Wyandotte.
FEMA staff are visiting affected communities and encouraging anyone who suffered damages from these storms to apply for disaster assistance. It takes about a 15-minute phone call to the FEMA toll-free teleregistration number: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). TTY service is available at 1-800-462-7585 for anyone who is hearing- or speech-impaired. The registration numbers will be available starting Wednesday, May 7, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CDT), seven days a week until further notice.
"All Kansas residents who sustained damage from this violent weather should apply with FEMA, no matter where in the state they live," said FEMA's Regional Director, Richard Hainje. "You must apply to determine eligibility for federal and state assistance programs."
Additionally, federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments in Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Leavenworth, Miami, Neosho and Wyandotte counties to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures.
Additional forms of assistance may be designated at a later date based on the results of further damage assessments.