Disaster center for elkhart county opens monday local news goshennews.com electricity transmission costs

According to a news release sent out through the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, state agencies will have representatives on site to provide immediate assistance and answer questions for those who have suffered a loss. Agencies that will be at the center are the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Family and Social Services Administration, Department of Workforce Development, Indiana State Department of Health, Department of Insurance, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

• Social services — Replacement and emergency food stamps; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit cards; listing of available child care providers; mental health service referrals; mobile feeding; Red Cross and Salvation Army case work; health coverage application assistance.

• Insurance information — Interpretation of insurance policies will be provided by staff of the Indiana Department of Insurance; information on lost or damaged policies; information on obtaining copies of insurance policies; general insurance navigation advice and complaint resolution; car insurance assistance.

• Public health information — Clean up advice and education including mold removal and prevention; vaccination information, including tetanus shots; information regarding free well water testing; access and information to vital records such as birth and death certificates.

• Agriculture — Representatives will be available to connect land owners and farmers to various local, state and federal assistance programs; erosion control mitigation and assistance-technical and possible financial assistance form BMP installation; logjam and agricultural field debris removal assistance; documentation and repair of damaged, existing conservation practices/structures; mapping/GIS support; damage surveys and documentation; support for animal and livestock issues.

In addition to the opening of the emergency center, Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson has issued a bulletin directing insurance companies to implement a 60-day cancellation moratorium for any policyholder directly affected by the recent weather events in Elkhart County and other Indiana counties that have been declared disaster areas.

“As Hoosiers affected by the recent weather events struggle to recover from flooding, the last thing they need to worry about is missing a premium payment and losing coverage,” Robertson said. “We hope granting this extension will help give them some peace of mind.”

Affected policyholders in impacted counties will be granted an additional 60 days to make their payments without their policies being canceled and without penalties. The moratorium is not a waiver, according to the agency; it is an extension of the period in which to pay the premium. After the 60 days, the policyholder will need to resume making premium payments or lose coverage. Insurance companies are being directed to work with impacted policyholders in paying the premiums that would have become due during the moratorium by either allowing a payment plan or a further extension in paying the amount due in full.