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Press Release

March 15, 2004 Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 401-4634

AoA Provides Disaster Relief To Older Victims Of Flooding In Virginia

Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Aging, Josefina G. Carbonell, recently awarded $20,000 to the Virginia Department for the Aging for a flooding disaster that occurred in Southwest Virginia in mid-November, 2003.

The areas hardest hit were Tazewell and Buchanan counties and the isolated areas of Russell and Dickenson. At least 360 homes and two businesses were damaged or destroyed. 126 older residents needed temporary shelter, counseling and assistance.“

AoA disaster relief funds are needed to provide critical disaster relief services and advocacy for older victims,” said Josefina G. Carbonell. “Many seniors living in the Commonwealth of Virginia were devastated by the severe storms and flooding that occurred on November 18-19. AoA’s award of these funds will help the Virginia Department for the Aging increase their supportive services to older Virginians who need assistance in rebuilding their lives,” said Carbonell.

The Virginia Department for the Aging will use these funds to reimburse the Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens who are helping older residents restore their lives. The Area Agency has spent many extra hours assessing the damage, counseling and helping older persons complete the paperwork for financial assistance, and referring people to appropriate agencies. Many hours have been spent helping people return to their own home or a new housing arrangement."

We know that seniors often take a bit longer to recover from disasters of this magnitude, and we want to be able to provide needed assistance to help them get back on their feet. Our funding fills in for services and activities that older people need that are not provided through other emergency resources," Carbonell added. For additional information on AoA’s national disaster preparedness and response activities, please contact Irma Tetzloff at (202) 357-3525.