WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster aid has been made available for the State of Ohio. The assistance will supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, straight line winds, and flooding beginning on July 27, 2006, and continuing.
FEMA Director R. David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the State of Ohio by President Bush. The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Ashtabula, Geauga, and Lake counties.
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.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide
Paulison named Jesse F. Munoz as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area. Munoz said that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at 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 operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.