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 Home > News & Policies > August 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 27, 2004

Responding to Hurricane Charley

Today's Presidential Action

  • Today, President Bush announced that the Federal government will continue to take critical steps to help Florida recover from the damage of Hurricane Charley and begin the rebuilding process.
  • President Bush today said he would seek emergency funds from the Congress to ensure that the recovery efforts in Florida and elsewhere continue without any interruption. These emergency supplemental appropriations will ensure that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other affected Federal agencies can continue to supply Floridians with the necessary disaster relief. The request will be ready for the Congress upon its return to session on September 7.
  • The request will total approximately $2 billion and include funds for these important efforts:
    • FEMA emergency cleanup, emergency protective measures, individual assistance, public infrastructure assistance, emergency housing needs, and hazard mitigation.
    • Small Business Administration disaster loan assistance to businesses and homeowners.
    • HUD Community Development Grants to support economic redevelopment projects, and help repair or replace damaged homes, properties, and businesses.
  • In addition to seeking these emergency funds, President Bush has directed the Department of Agriculture to use existing funding to compensate citrus and vegetable growers for lost crops and trees; to help pay the costs for clearing debris; and to work with other agencies to help address housing needs of migrant farm workers.

Background: Federal Efforts to Help Florida Respond to Hurricane Charley

Hurricane Charley, a Category Four hurricane, with sustained winds of 138 mph, hit Florida on August 13. Twenty-six Floridians lost their lives as a result of the hurricane, and more than 100,000 Floridians required emergency shelter. FEMA projects that about 280,000 Floridians will register for assistance, compared to 151,134 after Hurricane Andrew.

President Bush approved a major disaster declaration for the state of Florida the day Hurricane Charley made landfall.

Including the emergency request that will be submitted to the Congress, the Federal government is expected to provide approximately $3 billion in assistance and loans to help Florida recover. Actions taken by federal agencies in response to the disaster so far include (as of 8/26/04):

  • Registering approximately 136,000 assistance applicants
  • Approving over 13,500 applications for more than $59 million in housing assistance
  • Establishing 12 disaster recovery centers, which have assisted nearly 19,000 disaster victims
  • Deploying medical teams that have seen nearly 3,000 patients
  • Disbursing 1.2 million liters of water, 8.1 million pounds of ice, and 2 million meals and snacks
  • Delivering over 20,000 rolls of plastic sheeting and nearly 170 generators
  • Treating more than 2,900 individuals through FEMA Disaster Medical Assistance Teams, supporting damaged hospitals