For immediate release: Jun 17, 2008
Posted by: [GOV]
Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

More declarations, disaster assistance centers added

News Release

For Immediate Release

More declarations, disaster assistance centers added

INDIANAPOLIS (June 17, 2008) - Two more one-stop disaster assistance centers will open on Wednesday in Brown and Knox counties. The locations are:

The two sites will be open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Thereafter, the locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed on Sundays.

With these two locations, the state will have a total of eight locations (Bicknell, Columbus, Franklin, Indianapolis, Martinsville, Nashville, Spencer and Terre Haute) available to assist severe weather victims with questions about housing, unemployment insurance, social services and other services. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Red Cross officials are also located at most of these sites.

Two counties added to individual assistance declaration

Governor Mitch Daniels received word this afternoon that President George W. Bush has approved Gibson and Posey counties for individual federal assistance. That brings the total number of approved Indiana counties to 30. 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.

Those two counties were not on the original list of counties declared as disasters by the governor. But like Hamilton, Parke and Putnam, they have been added and received approval because the state has met the FEMA threshold for damage from the storms that struck from May 30 to June 7. These counties are close or contiguous to others that previously have been declared as disasters and have isolated areas of damage. It is likely there are only a limited number of individuals and businesses that will qualify for assistance in those counties.

Applications for FEMA assistance are made by telephone or computer and can be done as soon as a county is declared for individual assistance. It is not necessary for a storm victim to visit an office to complete an application. The applications may be found at http://www.fema.gov/ or the state's emergency assistance Web site at www.emergency.in.gov. The toll free number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

To date, the 30 counties approved for individual assistance are Adams, Bartholomew, Brown, Clay, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Gibson, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Parke, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo and Wayne counties.

Agriculture

Several types of agricultural relief are now available to Hoosier storm victims through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). They include: low-interest loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency; extension of the 2008 final crop reporting certification deadline to August 15; enrollment for assistance through USDA's Emergency Conservation program, which provides funding and technical assistance to rehabilitate farmland, and application for USDA's Emergency Watershed Protection program, which includes such assistance as debris removal from streams and stabilization of stream banks.

Full information is available at the Indiana Department of Agriculture Web page at:

http://www.in.gov/portal/news_events/23850.htm

The USDA also issued a report today that said nine percent of corn, nine percent of soybeans, and five percent of winter wheat crops have been flooded. The numbers come from questions that were included this week in the USDA's weekly crop progress survey in Indiana. The report can be found at: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/

Insurance

The Indiana Department of Insurance called on all insurance companies doing business in the state to implement a 60-day moratorium on the cancellation of any insurance policy because of late payment by policyholders who live in counties impacted by the recent severe weather. The moratorium begins today but is retroactive to cover the storms that began May 30.

The department's Bulletin 163 may be found at this link: www.in.gov/idoi/2414.htm

U.S. Housing and Urban Development

The federal agency has announced it will provide expedited support to homeowners and low-income renters who have been forced from their homes. This includes foreclosure relief for those whose homes are insured through HUD's Federal Housing Administration. Here is a link to HUD's announcement:

www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm?content=pr08-083.cfm

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