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March 6, 2012

‘One-Stop Shop’ brings state government services closer to tornado victims

Many services available starting at noon Wednesday at Ivy Tech; free rides available

SELLERSBURG — The state of Indiana will help connect tornado victims with recovery resources at one central location starting Wednesday, March 7.

The center will be located on the first floor of Ogle Hall at the Ivy Tech campus in Sellersburg, near Interstate 65 and Ind. 311 (exit 9), and will open at noon. After Wednesday, the center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week for at least 10 days, according to a press release from the state.

The state used this ‘one-stop shop’ approach successfully in 2008 when flooding affected many areas of the state and served thousands of Hoosiers. Many key state agencies will be present and providing services, referrals and vouchers to tornado victims. It is likely that the agencies, and the services they will provide, will expand as the recovery continues. Here is a list of agencies and some of the services that will be available initially:

• American Red Cross — Basic necessities and essential items

• Bureau of Motor Vehicles — Replacement driver’s licenses, identification cards and permits will be provided at no charge to customers impacted by the disaster. Other services include title replacement, registrations and license plates.

• Department of Insurance — Interpretation of insurance policies by staff from the Indiana Department of Insurance, information on lost or damaged policies, obtaining copies of insurance policies, and car insurance assistance

• Department of Workforce Development — Application for state unemployment benefits

• Indiana Department of Homeland Security — general disaster recovery information; damage reports

• Indiana Family and Social Services Administration — Replacement food stamps for families impacted by the disaster who are currently receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-food stamps) benefits; counseling services

• Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority — List of emergency shelters, temporary housing and rental assistance

• Indiana State Department of Health — vaccination information, including tetanus shots; clean up advice; access and information to vital records — birth and death certificates.

• The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives will assist in connecting disaster victims with resources provided by community organizations

• The Indiana Office of Technology and Indiana State Excise Police are providing support services for the other agencies represented at the center.

In addition, several local community action agencies will provide transportation to the one-stop shop. Here is a list of agencies, their days of transportation, and pick up locations:

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