|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 24, 2005
Federal Major Disaster Assistance in Texas for Hurricane Rita
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Rita beginning on September 23, 2005, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, and Tyler.
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 and certain private nonprofit organizations in all 254 counties in the State of Texas for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, at 75 percent Federal funding.
For a period of up to 72 hours, Federal funding is available at 100 percent of the total eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all 254 counties in the State of Texas.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), R. David Paulison, Acting 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 more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after assessments are fully completed in the affected areas.
The Agency said that those who sustained losses in the counties designated for aid to affected individuals and business owners can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.fema.gov or 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 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.
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