Monday, May 26, 2008


  Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that President Bush has approved Colorado's request for federal disaster aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas struck by severe storms and tornadoes in Weld and Larimer counties on May 22.

"I want to thank President Bush and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their rapid response to our request for aid, especially over this holiday weekend," Gov. Ritter said. "The magnitude of the disaster put it beyond the reach of local and state agencies to effectively respond without the assistance of the federal government. The President's federal disaster declaration will allow us to maintain the quick pace of recovery efforts already underway."


Damage assessments show more than 851 residences sustained some degree of damage, including 78 that were destroyed and 228 that suffered major damage.  


FEMA Administrator David Paulison said the President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Larimer and Weld counties.


Paulison said that 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. 


Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.


Paulison named Kenneth R. Tingman as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Tingman said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.




Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Bush's major disaster declaration:


Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

·       Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable.  Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters.  Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)


·       Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)


·       Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)


·       Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.  (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)


·       Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $1.5 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)


·       Loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $1.5 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)


·      Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.  (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)


·       Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.


Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:


·         Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)


How to Apply for Assistance:


·         Those in the counties designated for assistance to affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at <>  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 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) seven days a week.  Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.