Governor Mike Pence has requested a federal major disaster declaration, which would include grants and low-interest loans for citizens and low-interest loans for businesses in Howard County devastated by tornadoes and severe storms that affected parts of Indiana on November 17.
"Having seen firsthand the damage in Kokomo and Howard County, as well as in other communities throughout Indiana, we are committed to helping Hoosiers recover from the November storms," said Governor Pence. "According to FEMA standards, the damage in Howard County gives us a starting point for a major disaster declaration request. If Howard County is approved, we will have the opportunity to request assistance for additional counties if damage warrants."
The Governor has requested Individual Assistance. State and local officials have identified severe damage to homes and businesses in Howard County, in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines. Howard County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) and FEMA conducted joint preliminary damage assessments last week.
The situation in Howard County includes:
191 homes have sustained major damage or have been destroyed. In all, nearly 1,000 homes have sustained damage.
Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOADs) preliminarily estimates more than $2.84 million will be needed for unmet needs in Howard County alone after a Presidential Major Disaster for individual assistance is declared.
The request indicates that further damage may be identified and reserves the right to request assistance for additional counties. Howard, Daviess, Fountain and Grant counties all have declared states of disaster emergencies.
If approved, assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans also will be available.
The Presidential Disaster Declaration Request and Executive Order 13-24 declaring a disaster emergency in Howard County are attached.