print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > April 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 26, 2003

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alaska and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe winter storms, including high winds and freezing temperatures on March 6-14, 2003.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Municipality of Anchorage.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home 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.

In addition, Federal funding is available to the State and eligible local governments in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Municipality of Anchorage on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.

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

Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Undersecretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named William M. Lokey 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 for assistance 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.