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 Home > News & Policies > March 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 14, 2003

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Ohio and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm and record/near record snow on February 14, 2003, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in a five county area. The counties include Adams, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, and Scioto. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to the State and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe winter storm/snow in the counties of Adams, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike, Scioto, and Vinton. In addition, assistance for emergency protective measures undertaken to save lives, protect public health and safety, and property is available for a period of 48 hours to the State and eligible local governments in the counties of Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Madison, Monroe, and Muskingum.

Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Acting Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Ron Sherman as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow 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. seven days a week until further notice.