Teams Assess Individual Property Damage in Indiana

by Devin Katayama on March 6, 2012

Individual homeowners and businesses are being assessed for damage following tornados that swept through southern Indiana last week.

Teams comprised of federal, state and local officials will soon provide a report to Gov. Mitch Daniels who is expected to declare Indiana a major disaster.

On Tuesday, teams began reviewing individual property damage, including businesses and homes, in four Indiana counties that were most affected by the storm. The report, expected to be delivered to Daniels in a matter of days, will not include insured homes, said Arvin Copeland, director for emergency response for Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security.

“If a person has insurance and their home is covered, they’re off the list. So we’re just looking at uninsured homes and businesses right now and we’re counting them all,” he said.

Dan Zook is a 30-year Henryville resident. He stood outside his house that is located just off the main streets and said he met has with his insurance company Tuesday.

“I just met with them and we went through everything. And I have my contractor here and we checked everything out and decided it’s basically cosmetic and we’re going to rebuild,” said Zook.

Not everyone has cosmetic damage and not everyone with insurance is completely covered for the damage. This is why Gov. Daniels is considering a request for declaration of a major disaster, which only the President can provide. But Daniels said he still expects Indiana to meet the threshold for some federal assistance.

The teams will be in Indiana over the next few days and will provide Daniels with a report on individual damage as soon as possible, said FEMA spokesman Gene Romano.

Next week, the teams will again review the counties, this time for public damage and cost of the storm. If the state has at least $8.6 million  in damages, Daniels will have the chance to request another round of federal assistance, he said.

Teams in Kentucky are currently conducting similar reviews and Gov. Steve Beshear has said he already plans on requesting help from the federal government.

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