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 Home > News & Policies > September 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 5, 2003

Statement by the Press Secretary

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Indiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding on August 26, 2003, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in a 21 county area. The counties include Blackford, Boone, Clay, Delaware, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Jay, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Owen, Putnam, Randolph, and Shelby Counties.

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.

Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Thomas J. Costello 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 more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated 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.