Kokomo, IN -- Disaster assistance has been made available in three additional Indiana counties to help residents recover from the effects of the severe storms, tornadoes, and floods that struck throughout the state between July 4 and August 6, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Affected residents and business owners in Lake, Porter, and Vanderburgh counties may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Those who are speech or hearing impaired may call a special TTY number, 1-800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available when necessary.
The three new counties join 40 designated eligible for individual assistance under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on July 11. The counties were added following a review of recent damage assessments by federal, state, county and local disaster officials.
"We recognized the need of including residents from these counties who have suffered damages, even after the Governor requested and received a disaster declaration from the President," Patrick R. Ralston, state coordinating officer, Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said.
According to Thomas J. Costello, FEMA's federal coordinating officer, calling FEMA's toll-free application number is the only way to apply for a wide range of disaster assistance programs, but the deadline to make the call and apply is Tuesday, September 9.
The types of assistance can include 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 disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and disaster unemployment assistance.
Callers are advised to have the following information available to help speed up the application process:
- Your current phone number;
- Your Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses you suffered;
- If insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent's and company name;
- General financial information; and
- Bank account code if you wish to speed up your assistance with direct deposit.
The counties designated for individual Assistance for homeowners, renters and business owners include Adams, Allen, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Delaware, Fountain, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Jay, Kosciusko, Madison, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Parke, Pulaski, Randolph, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Wells, White, and Whitley.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.
DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INFORMATION
When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administers a number of disaster assistance programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that provide services to help people t...