WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for the state of Washington. The assistance will supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe winter storm, landslides, mudslides, and flooding during the period of January 6-16, 2009.
Acting FEMA Administrator Nancy Ward said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state of Washington by President Obama. The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in King, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Wahkiakum 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. All counties in the State of Washington are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Ward named Willie G. Nunn as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Nunn 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.DisasterAssistance.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) Monday through Sunday until further notice.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and man-made disasters.