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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

After flooding, local people using disaster assistance from government

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Seven out of the 11 claims submitted for disaster assistance were approved in Clay County, totalling $37,697. Overall, more than 1,500 claims and $3,761,365 has been granted to Hoosiers since the Jan. 21 Presidential declaration, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"When people need help... you give them help," said Bryan Husband, Clay County Emergency Management Agency Director.

While only 11 families applied in Clay County, 135 of 244 applicants were approved in Marion County, 81 of 278 applicants were approved in Randolph County and 226 of 645 applicants were approved in Delaware County.

Husband said he knows more than 11 families need assistance locally. These families have not gotten the assistance they need because not everyone reads the newspapers or watches the television news. They might not also be familar with the EMA office, he said.

"For many years there wasn't assistance coming out of this office and for the last three to four years it has," Husband said.

Six new disaster recovery centers have just opened across Indiana. Clay County residents can find centers at South Vigo High School in Vigo County, 3737 S. 7th St. in Terre Haute and at the parking lot near the public library in Owen County, 10 S. Montgomery St. in Spencer.

Husband recalled his intial shock on Jan. 6 when the flooding began.

At one point there were only seven counties in Indiana that weren't declared disaster areas, he said.

The Emergency Management Agency office where Husband works is located in the basement of the Clay County Courthouse.

"The door's always open if someone has a question," he said.

"I may not have the answers, but I can find the answers or get (you) in contact with the right people," Husband said.

Individuals, families and businesses who suffered damages in 85 declared counties can contact FEMA between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing and speech impairments. Information can also be found online at


Most people think that the relief funds are only for those whose houses were near rivers, but this isn't true, Husband said. The relief is also for people who had damages such as flooded basements or crawl spaces.

The Individuals and Households Program is for individuals and families that suffered damage or destruction to their permanent residence as a result of the flooding.

Along with the individual and family assistance, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued 1,966 loan applications to renters and/or business owners and homeowners. According to FEMA these applications should be completed as soon as possible.

Vincennes and Indianapolis have SBA outreach centers where FEMA representatives are available for questions Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The centers are located at South Marion County on Shelby Road in Indianapolis and Knox County on Keller Drive in Vincennes.

For those interested in disaster related unemployment assistance, information can be found at www.workforce.IN.gov/dwd or by calling 1-888-WORKONE. Also crisis counseling is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-564-6460.

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