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Thursday, May 5, 2016

FEMA provides information on how to obtain aid

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Smith addresses the media Thursday at the Booker T. Washington Community Center.
TERRE HAUTE -- Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) and United States Small Business Association (SBA) provided an update of how flood victims may receive assistance Thursday.

The organizations conducted a press conference Thursday at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, 1101 S. 13th St., Terre Haute.

FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Smith said approximately 350 FEMA representatives were currently in the state "on the ground." He added more than $21 million had already been approved to residents and others who had applied for federal assistance.

Smith said those interested in applying for federal assistance were required to call 1-800-621-FEMA or visit www.fema.gov.

"I think things are progressing very well," Smith said. "Either way works for us."

He said when residents or others contact FEMA to apply for assistance, an inspector is sent to see how much assistance may be needed. Currently, there are 160 inspectors in the Wabash Valley area assessing damage.

"Sometimes, folks are disappointed," Smith said.

He added after applying, payment may be received with 10 days, but it may also come faster.

Smith said homeowners and renters may receive grants from FEMA, but in order to receive grants, those interested must call or visit the website to register for assistance.

He said there are six disaster recovery units set up in Indiana, including the one in Terre Haute. Smith said three more would be in place by Saturday, including one in Spencer.

According to FEMA officials, close to 2,000 people have visited the units, including ones in Indianapolis, Columbus, Terre Haute, Martinsville and Franklin. In addition, 3,425 inspections have been completed and 30 counties in the state, including Clay County, have been designated for federal assistance.

Officials with the SBA also said assistance is available from the organization but those interested must fill out an application. SBA Communications Specialist Alana C. Chavez said homeowners could receive up to $200,000 from SBA and renters could receive as much as $40,000.

IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott Jr. said all the agencies were ready to work with residents.

"We're committed to aiding Hoosiers that have been affected by this disaster," Wainscott said. "The widespread result of this disaster has affected a lot of Hoosiers."

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