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HHS’ Administration on Aging
Provides Disaster Relief to Kansas Seniors

The Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Josefina G. Carbonell, announced that Kansas has received an additional $30,000 to assist in relief efforts as a result of devastation caused by a destructive tornado and flooding in May and June 2007.  This funding will supplement an award of $25,000 provided to the Kansas Department on Aging on July 10, 2007.

The funds will provide tornado and flood victims with essential community services, ongoing counseling and case management, home repair, chore services and continued clean up from the flood so that they can return to their homes.

“This additional grant to Kansas’ aging network will help in providing our seniors with the supportive assistance they need to continue rebuilding their lives,” HHS Assistant Secretary Carbonell said.

On May 4, 2007, an F-5 tornado, the highest category on the National Weather Service scale, did extensive damage in Kiowa and parts of Barton and Stafford counties in Kansas.  On May 7, President Bush declared the affected communities a national disaster. The town of Greensburg was virtually destroyed, which included 955 structures, the hospital, schools, churches and businesses.  Twenty-six percent (369) of the residents are age 65 and over.  Of the 12 persons who died during the storm, six were elderly.  A senior center located in the downtown area of Greensburg was destroyed.  The operation of the senior nutrition program was closed until alternative arrangements could be made.  Since Greensburg served as the central location for senior services in nearby counties, work is still underway to restore programs to a fully functioning level.

More disruptions occurred from heavy rains (21 inches in three days) and flooding in late June 2007, causing extensive damage in the eastern part of the state affecting more than 600 seniors. On July 19, a new declaration added 21 southeastern counties to the list of areas affected by the storms.

The Administration on Aging (AoA) continues to work closely with the Kansas Department on Aging to offer ongoing, needed relief to those individuals and communities impacted by the tornado and the flooding.

Information and resources on a variety of aging-related topics to assist elders, families, and caregivers can be found on the Administration on Aging Website at: http://www.aoa.gov

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging (AoA), works with a nationwide network of organizations and service providers to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective system of long-term care that helps elderly individuals maintain their independence and dignity in their homes and communities. For more information about the AoA, please contact: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, Washington, D.C. 20201, Phone (202) 401-4541.