New Indiana law increases access to state disaster relief funds

NOW: New Indiana law increases access to state disaster relief funds

Cleanup is still ongoing at Wakeside Marine in Simonton Lake after severe storms blew through nearly three weeks ago. A tarp sits over a large hole in the main building's siding. 

The cost of extreme weather damage is a growing issue nationwide, with eleven "billion-dollar" weather disasters already occurring in the first half of 2024 across the United States. 

As of July 1, a new Indiana law ensures you can get more help paying for storm damage on your property.

Under the new measure (Senate Bill 190), the maximum amount of loss that can be paid out for storm damage has increased from $10,000 to $25,000 dollars.

The law also makes a major change to how the state can help property owners with damage from flooding.

"So, if you have property that's damaged by flooding, and it didn't affect a building in the past, you were kind of out of luck," Executive Director of Elkhart County Emergency Management Jennifer Tobey explained." Well, now in the future, you might be able to get some money, or get some reimbursements to account for the property that was damaged as well."

Tobey said that now, counties can receive more disaster relief money if they’ve already done some mitigation work beforehand, like adopting a hazard mitigation plan and performing emergency management exercises.

"“You don't have to depend on the Feds [as much]. It's just a bigger opportunity for help, regardless,” Tobey said.

The state disaster relief fund is only available if there is no assistance from the federal government. Even still, the next time damaging storms roll through, Hoosiers have easier access to help pay for the cleanup.

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