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Statement by the Press Secretary: Disaster Declaration for Arizona

June 25, 2002

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Arizona and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by wildfires beginning June 18, 2002, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Apache and Navajo Counties and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, 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 also is available to eligible local governments in Apache and Navajo Counties on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal, and the restoration of roads, bridges and public buildings damaged by the wildfires. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

Joe M. Allbaugh, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Scott Wells as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties and assistance to state and local government agencies may be added after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated jurisdictions can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.


George W. Bush, Statement by the Press Secretary: Disaster Declaration for Arizona Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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