|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 20, 2003
Statement on Federal Assistance for DC
Statement by the Press Secretary
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the District of Columbia and ordered Federal aid to supplement the District's recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Isabel on September 18, 2003, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the District of Columbia.
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 available to the District of Columbia on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance under the Public Assistance program, at 75 percent Federal funding.
Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Alexander S. Wells as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing, and additional forms of assistance for the District of Columbia may be designated after the assessments are completed.
The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the District of Columbia 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 7 a.m. to midnight seven days a week until further notice.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.