WHITELAND, Ind. — Tornadoes ripped through Whiteland, leaving the town in a state of emergency and in need of federal help to rebuild.
FEMA will be arriving to help, but Whiteland’s residents need help recovering mentally just as much as physically rebuild their homes.
“The mental health is a huge component that we’re learning is very critical to address during a situation like this,” Whiteland’s community development director Carmen Young said to WISHTV.
While the town is anticipating FEMA’s arrival, they are checking in on the mental health of residents. Teresa Young’s home wasn’t hit too hard by the tornado, but the rest of her neighborhood wasn’t so lucky. Some residents had their homes destroyed and won’t come back.
“There are some folks who can’t talk about it yet, at all,” Teresa said, “But it’s one of those things we’ll have to live with.”
Teresa, like other Whiteland residents, have PTSD from the tornado. Even a passing train can trigger the memories of that day Teresa said, “It goes by and causes a lot of anxiety. Then our civil service alarm, it goes off and it just makes everything come right back. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it again.”
FEMA will be in the state starting Wednesday, where agents will go door-to-door helping residents.
Whiteland and Johnson county – along with Allen, Benton, Clinton, Grant, Howard, Lake, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Sullivan, and White counties – will get help from FEMA to sign up for federal disaster assistance.
FEMA’s help brings funding for home repairs, temporary housing, and low-cost loans in their programs to recover.
You can also go to DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app, or call 800-621-3362 before the June 14 deadline.
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