INDIANAPOLIS (October 3, 2008) - State disaster centers helped nearly 25,000 people in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties who were impacted by severe weather that struck the area in mid-September.
During the time the centers were open from September 25 to October 1:
- Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) employees took 24,137 applications for emergency food stamps. About 300 FSSA employees worked in the centers to process applications and questions and many other agencies also provided staff in the assistance centers.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) received 11,885 applications. FEMA will continue to accept applications for at least the next 60 days.
- FSSA's Division of Mental Health and Addiction deployed 13 crisis counselors to provide counseling services to more than 2,600 Hoosiers.
- The Department of Insurance and Department of Workforce Development each assisted several hundred people with questions about insurance policies or employment.
- The state's Office of Information Technology set up hundreds of computers at the six centers to aid storm victims making applications for assistance
- The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has been providing temporary housing for more than 250 families during the last two weeks
"Many people suffered damage and there is a long recovery ahead. We're grateful people were so patient and understanding as FSSA and other state employees processed applications," said Andy Miller, Governor Mitch Daniels' director of the Office of Disaster Recovery. "We also had many dedicated employees who worked long hours to help those in need, and we appreciate the support we received from local officials and the organizations that opened their buildings for the state and FEMA to use."
Storm victims in Harrison, Jefferson and Jennings counties may continue to apply for disaster food stamps through Tuesday. They are available at county FSSA offices at these locations: Harrison County, 2201 Concord Avenue, Suite 120, Corydon; Jefferson County, 493 West Hutchinson Lane, Suite A, Madison; and Jennings County, 1171 North State Street, North Vernon.
In addition, the governor has requested that 10 counties by added to the disaster declaration for severe weather that began September 12. They are Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Pike, Spencer and Switzerland counties. Additional counties may also be added as part of the major disaster determination as damage assessments are completed.
FEMA will continue to accept applications for at least the next 60 days. Residents and business owners in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Harrison, Jefferson and Jennings counties who sustained losses can register online at https://exchweb.in.gov/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.fema.gov/assistance or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.
FEMA 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.
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