For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 8, 2003
Statement by the Press Secretary
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State
of Tennessee and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local
recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and
flooding on May 4, 2003, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected
individuals in the counties of Carroll, Cheatham, Chester, Crockett,
Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston,
Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, Montgomery, Obion, Robertson, Stewart, and
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.
Federal funding is also available to State and eligible local
governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of
public facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding
in the counties of Dyer, Madison, Montgomery, and Weakley.
In addition, Federal funding is 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 Michael E. Bolch as
the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.