Clay was one of 13 counties made eligible for disaster relief yesterday morning in the wake of a June 3 disaster declaration following a series of heavy storms and tornadoes.
While no significant damage has been recorded in Clay County, Emergency Management Director Gerri Husband said the county was tacked on the list as a "contiguous county" -- one close to a county that has suffered damage.
"Because of our proximity to Owen County, which did receive heavy damage, we were added," she said. "I have not been notified of any damages."
Husband said Clay County's addition to the list will make it easier for individual property owners to file claims with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"Now that people see that we're added, they might come forward to the FEMA field office in Indianapolis and tell them of damages to their property," she said. "The door is open now, basically."
Since the county has reported no damage, it has not received any FEMA funding.
Husband said people who received damage to their property during the storms may be eligible for FEMA assistance. If the damage was fixed, documentation must be made that it did occur.
Marvin Nauman, a public affairs officer for FEMA, strongly encourages county residents to contact the office with question or claims.
He said that even lost time at work due to a storm may be eligible for FEMA coverage. For instance, if a person lived in Clay County but held a job at a business in Owen County, and that business was damaged by storms or other emergencies, the time lost may be applicable.
He added that small damage caused to a home by the same emergencies may also apply, and even renters are eligible for some help or a low-interest loan in the aftermath, depending on the situation.
To find out if you are eligible for disaster aid, call the Clay County Emergency Management office at 448-8400. For more information on FEMA and eligibility requirements, visit www.in.gov/fema.