For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 13, 2004
Statement by the Press Secretary
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Florida and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley beginning on August 11, 2004, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Charlotte, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota.
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 also is available to State and eligible local governments in the State of Florida on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures at 75 percent Federal funding.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Michael E. Bolch as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated 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.
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