For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 14, 2004
Responding to Hurricanes Charley and Frances
- President Bush on September 14, 2004 submitted a supplemental budget request totaling $3.1 billion to the Congress to help Florida and other affected areas respond to the damage caused by Hurricanes Charley and Frances.
The funds requested will go primarily to help the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA), which is leading response and recovery
efforts in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and elsewhere.
This request is in addition to an earlier, already approved request for
$2 billion to help in the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes.
Funding will also be provided to the Departments of Health and
Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior,
Defense, and Veterans Affairs. Funds are also being sought for the
Corps of Engineers, NASA, the Small Business Administration, and for
the American Red Cross. These funds will provide for a variety of
disaster-relief efforts and the repair and restoration of federal
It is extremely rare for two hurricanes -- a Category IV followed
by a Category II -- to hit the same geographical area within a
three-week period. With this request, the total supplemental budget
request for Hurricanes Charley and Frances will exceed $5 billion,
bringing total federal grant and loan assistance to hurricane-affected
areas to more than $7 billion.
President Bush remains concerned that Hurricane Ivan may cause
further damage to the Southeastern United States, and so he has
alerted Congressional leaders that he may recommend, prior to final
action on this current request, additional supplemental funding for
emergency cleanup, protective measures, and individual assistance
associated with Hurricane Ivan.
Presidential Action: Funding Response, Recovery, and Repairs
The $3.1 billion request will be divided among several federal
agencies. The key categories of assistance are:
- Emergency Response and Recovery
- FEMA-led direct assistance to families and individuals, including
payments to help cover uninsured damages to property and public
infrastructure: $2.0 billion.
- Small Business Administration loan supports and guarantees for
affected small businesses: $457 million.
- Department of Health and Human Services programs, including those that provide free meals and medicines for affected seniors: $50
- Direct assistance to the American Red Cross, which plays a critical
role in providing disaster relief, and whose resources have been
severely tested by back-to-back major disasters. The American Red
Cross traditionally relies on the support of private donors, and is
expected to continue to do so; but in this instance, the President
believes assistance to the work of the Red Cross is appropriate: $70
- Critical Infrastructure Repairs
- HUD Community Development Block Grants to pay for emergency repairs
to damaged homes, including migrant farm-worker housing, and for
economic redevelopment projects: $150 million.
- Repairs to major federal facilities, including Veterans Affairs
hospitals and clinics, national wildlife refuges and national parks,
and key structures owned and run by NASA, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the
Department of Defense: $252 million.
- Repair and restoration of federally-maintained shipping navigation
channels and flood-control projects: $118 million.
The supplemental request is in addition to Department of
Agriculture efforts to assist nurseries, and citrus and vegetable
growers for lost crops and trees, using existing funding. The
Department is also helping to pay the costs for clearing debris. In
addition, other federal agencies will continue their ongoing relief
efforts using existing resources and programs.
Background: Federal Recovery Efforts to Hurricane Charley and
For several weeks, federal agencies have worked to help Florida and
other areas respond to Hurricanes Charley and Frances. As damage to
Hurricane Frances has become known, the federal government has
contributed some of the following emergency response efforts (as of
- FEMA has received 193,000 registrations for assistance, and
has disbursed over $108 million in assistance to families and
individuals in response to Hurricane Charley.
- FEMA has received 111,000 registrations for assistance, and has disbursed over $35
million in assistance to families and individuals in response to
- There are 17 FEMA/State Disaster Recovery
Centers currently open, providing victims with information on various
disaster assistance programs and advice on how to rebuild wisely in the
wake of the hurricane.
- 435 truckloads of water are on hand at
various staging areas in response to Frances.
- 20 truckloads of
donated food were received this week; 56 truckloads will arrive this
- 6 million MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) have been purchased and
delivered to Florida, with an additional 5 million additional MREs
ordered to respond both Frances and Charley.
- FEMA has provided
more than 86,000 tarps to county Emergency Operations Centers for
distribution for victims of both hurricanes. Plastic sheeting has been
installed as a temporary roof repair on about 8,000 homes.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $39 million in
low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses.
- Approximately 5 million cubic yards of debris has been cleared.
- Six Disaster Medical Assistance teams are in the field, with two
additional teams staged for assignment if needed. To date, more than
1,000 patients have been treated.