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Today, during a House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, U.S. Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) engaged FEMA Administrator, Craig Fugate, on the agency’s efforts alongside Kentucky Emergency Management before, during, and following a crippling set of tornadoes, high winds and storms that devastated the Commonwealth beginning February 29, 2012.  Rogers received assurances that, pending additional damage reviews, more county designations would be forthcoming within days. Rogers also pressed and received from Fugate a firm federal commitment to each and every community devastated by these storms.

Click here to view a video clip of Congressman Rogers addressing FEMA Administrator Fugate on receiving disaster relief for Kentucky.

Scroll to 24:54 to hear Congressman Rogers' opening statement and the corresponding exchange with Administrator Fugate.

Click here to view Congressman Rogers' opening statement at the FEMA hearing

On March 6, 2012, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, releasing federal funds to help Kentucky communities recover from the severe storms, hurricane force winds, multiple tornados, and flooding beginning February 29, 2012. This initial designation was made available to seven Kentucky counties for Individual Assistance (IA). These funds enable homeowners to start rebuilding, pay for temporary lodging, and assist with basic needs. During the hearing, Administrator Fugate indicated that Public Assistance designations are likely, but IA was prioritized to help Kentucky families get back on their feet immediately. Public Assistance (PA) helps local government entities re-establish communities facilities, repair roads, rebuild schools, and restore basic infrastructure.

“The devastation left in the wake of these storms is unspeakable, with homes leveled, businesses and community centers annihilated, and families displaced all over the countryside,” says Rogers. “I appreciate the President’s speedy disaster declaration and the federal help to our neighbors in getting back on their feet to recovery. I know that many challenges lie ahead as we move forward, but our people are resilient and this declaration removes obstacles to restoration.  I send my prayers and deep thanks to the many volunteers, guardsmen, and first responders who have exhibited the character, the spirit and the will to rebuild our communities.”

This immediate declaration offers Individual Assistance (IA) to impacted individuals in Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Morgan, Menifee, and Pendleton counties. The counties being declared a federal disaster area and designated for Public Assistance (available to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations for repairs/emergency work) are still being determined as FEMA officials are still assessing damage and providing recommendations. Modification of this declaration is likely, and should be considered as a “round one” in available assistance, as damage assessments continue throughout the Commonwealth.

On a related front, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced low-interest disaster loans would be made available to assist in home and business rebuilding. During the recovery process, Rogers reminds storm survivors to take photographs to document damages. FEMA officials indicate photographs are beneficial when applying for all types of federal emergency aid.  All storm victims should begin the registration process whether or not their home counties have been designated for federal assistance. These individuals should contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585 for persons with speech or hearing disabilities. Additional information about this disaster and required forms to apply for assistance are available at  In order to apply for individual assistance, an applicant should have on hand his/her social security number, current and pre-disaster address, telephone number to be contacted, insurance information, total household annual income, bank routing and account numbers, and a description of losses that were caused by the disaster. The disaster declaration number is 4057-DR.