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Monday, June 23, 2003 Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

AoA Provides Disaster Relief To Older Victims Of Florida Tornados

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging (AoA) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs, Edwin L. Walker, recently awarded $30,000 to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs as a result of the aftermath of tornado activity on March 27, 2003, that caused extensive damage and flooding in South Florida. The severity of impact was predominately in Dade County, causing a shortfall of resources and affecting hundreds of older Floridians in the area. On April 25, 2003, President Bush declared parts of South Florida as a disaster area.

AoA’s funds will be used to reimburse the Florida Department of Elder Affairs for many expenses it incurred assisting older victims in the aftermath of the storms. More than 425 elderly residents of the Miami-Dade County area required varied assistance such as clean up and repair of homes; transportation; food replacement and legal assistance with protection from fraud. Many of these older individuals are also receiving case management and help in resolving problems associated with rebuilding their lives. The $30,000 AoA award to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs will greatly assist in the ongoing case management, counseling, in-home services and other gap-filling services.

For additional information on AoA’s national disaster preparedness and response activities, please contact Irma Tetzloff at (202) 357-3525.