President Signs Disaster Declaration For 6 Ind. Counties

Federal Assistance Approved For Homeowners, Renters, Business Owners

President Barack Obama approved federal assistance for homeowners, renters and businesses in six counties in southern Indiana affected by tornadoes and severe storms, state officials said.

Gov. Mitch Daniels was notified about the declaration Friday night, officials said.

The president's action makes federal funding available to Hoosiers in Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick and Washington counties.

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.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in those counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24 hours a day, officials said.

The state opened a one-stop shop Wednesday in Sellersburg that helps connect tornado victims with state services, such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Insurance and the Family and Social Services Administration. The center is on the first floor of Ogle Hall at the Ivy Tech campus in Sellersburg (Interstate 65 exit 9) and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency also will provide assistance to those applying for federal assistance at the Sellersburg site.

Here's a breakdown from FEMA of the assistance available:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the commonwealth.)
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; commonwealth administered.)
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.
  • To access Indiana¬ís disaster recovery website, click here.

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