Cuyahoga, Summit counties designated for individual assistance

FINDLAY, Ohio - The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Friday that disaster assistance for Cuyahoga and Summit counties has been made available to help homeowners, renters and business owners recover from the effects of the Nov. 10 tornadoes and severe storms that ripped a path of destruction through northern Ohio.

FEMA director Joe Allbaugh said that the assistance was approved based on a review of damage data gathered by state disaster recovery officials. The counties were added to receive aid under the major disaster declaration issued by President Bush on Nov. 18.

"We remain committed to delivering assistance wherever it's needed and to making sure that every qualified individual and family receives the help they need to get back on the road to recovery," Allbaugh said.

Affected residents and business owners in Cuyahoga and Summit counties may apply for assistance immediately by calling (800) 621-FEMA between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those who are speech or hearing impaired may call (800) 462-7585.

The deadline to apply for assistance is Jan. 17, 2003.