The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 21, 2001

President Orders Federal Funding for Virginia
Statement by the Press Secretary

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by fires and explosions on September 11, 2001.

The   President's  action  makes  Federal  funding  available  to  affected individuals and local governments in Arlington County.

Assistance  can  include funds to help meet temporary housing needs, grants for  medical,  funeral  and  other  serious  disaster-related expenses, and low-interest  loans  from  the  U.S. Small Business Administration to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance or other agencies.   Unemployment  assistance  and  funding  for  crisis  counseling services also will be available under the declaration.

Federal  funding  is  available  to  eligible  local governments for debris removal  and emergency protective measures at 100% as a result of the fires and  explosions.   Federal  funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

Joe  M.  Allbaugh,  Director  of  the  Federal  Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Thomas Davies as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The  Agency  said  that  other areas may be added for assistance at a later date.

Help  with funeral expenses, medical costs, counseling, lost wages and loss of  financial  support,  is  available  to  victims of this crime and their family   members   through  the  Virginia  Victims  of  Crime  Compensation Commission.  To access this assistance, Virginia residents and out-of-state residents should call 1-866-827-3543.

Residents of Virginia and surrounding states unemployed as a result of this crime may apply for these benefits through their state employment agencies.



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