FEMA disaster relief is just in time for hundreds of families


by WHAS11


Posted on March 10, 2012 at 12:54 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 11 at 1:40 AM

SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Outside Ivy Tech's Ogle Hall on Saturday, families filed in looking for any number of statewide services at the state's temporary setup to aid the vast number of tornado victims.
About 200 people come for help each day, a number which is growing.
Even more could show up to apply for federal disaster money granted on Friday, just one week after the tornado outbreak that wrecked many towns.
The White House approved aid for homeowners, renters and businesses in Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick, and Washington counties in Indiana. 16 Kentucky counties are eligible for the same help.
C.H. Trew is one such eligible victim.
"I said hang on it's here, and it wasn't even 30 seconds later it was just (making noise), and the house shaked and shimmered and we thought for sure we was gonna go with it," Trew said.
One storm has passed, but another has emerged.  How to pay for the hundreds of homes trashed by the tornado.

It destroyed Trew's house in Henryville and his mother-in law's next door. Neither have insurance.
"The economy the way it is, it's kind of hard to afford insurance, let alone pay for gas and your groceries and bills alone," Trew added.
The money helps hundreds of newly homeless victims who have gaps in their insurance coverage.
"We can help with rebuilding," said FEMA spokesman Greg Hughes. "We can help with rental assistance who need a place to live while the rebuilding is going on."
Indiana District 9 Congressman Todd Young also visited the Ivy Tech site Saturday.
"It tears at the heart, but it's also at the same time sort of inspiring and uplifting to see people come together and figure out how to you know, address these problems," said Young.
While the physical cleanup continues, the financial cleanup for the Trew family was just beginning.
"If they do compensate enough, we're gonna rebuild and stay where we're at, which we're gonna have to anyway," Trew said. "It's our only home, it's the only home we have."
FEMA may house their recovery center at the Ivy Tech site as well, if there is room. A decision will likely come in a week.
FEMA officials are urging tornado victims to file for aid along with their insurance claim immediately. The money should arrive within one to two weeks.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the six eligible counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 24 hours a day.

Officials say 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 damage from the storms that hit the region from Feb. 29 to March 3.
For the state of Indiana's disaster recovery website, click here.

For stories, photos, and how you can help, visit our Kentuckiana Tornadoes of March 2, 2012 page