In the wake of the devastating tornados which recently hit parts of western and central Kentucky, our commonwealth’s resiliency has been tested like never before.

But after a natural disaster that killed 77 Kentuckians, destroyed countless homes and wiped out entire communities, caring citizens have responded with unbelievable compassion. Private charities and individuals have been on the ground cleaning up debris and providing warm meals, in addition to supplying financial and material assistance.

Various Kentucky school districts have sent school buses full of supplies to affected communities. And Americans from coast to coast have contributed monetarily to the relief and cleanup efforts.

In the very communities affected by the storm, unsung heroes have stepped up to help their friends and neighbors. First responders have pulled bodies out of rubble. Electric crews have pulled long hours restoring power to residents. And many people have volunteered by setting up relief funds, coordinating local donation centers, and much more. All of these efforts have been essential to getting communities back on their feet, and represent the very best that America has to offer.

In terms of size and volume, this tornado was unlike anything we’ve ever seen. After touring damaged sites all over the 1st Congressional District, I’m heartbroken to see such devastation hit so many our small towns. I’m thankful to all the local leaders and concerned citizens who are working tirelessly to restore the beauty of their communities.

I am committed to using my office as a resource for anyone in need of assistance from the federal government for cleanup and relief efforts. While the work of private charitable organizations and community leaders have been instrumental, there are also government disaster assistance programs to help those in need.

The White House has approved a major disaster declaration for 14 Kentucky counties, making these areas eligible for federal aid programs designed to cover basic needs not covered by private insurance. This can include rental payments for temporary housing, home repairs, low-interest loans (for losses not fully covered by insurance), counseling, farm assistance, and more.

For more information on these various programs available, as well as how people can access them, you can visit my website resource page at comer.house.gov/tornados. Please do not hesitate to also call my office if we can answer any questions.

We will never forget the 77 Kentuckians lost to such grave tragedy. Gone but not forgotten, their families remain in my thoughts and prayers as they navigate such tremendous loss.

Likewise, the communities affected by this disaster will remain at the top of our hearts and minds as we conclude a year that is unfortunately ending on a sad note. But even in the wake of such devastation, we can be inspired by the resilience that Kentuckians have shown to help their friends and neighbors — and come together to rebuild all that was lost.

Rep. James Comer is a United States Congressman for the 1st Congressional District, which spans from south central Kentucky to the river counties of far western Kentucky. Contact him with any questions or concerns in his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-3115, in the Tompkinsville Office at (270) 487-9509, in the Paducah Office at (270) 408-1865, or schedule an appointment in the Madisonville Office by calling (270) 487-9509.

Rep. James Comer is a United States Congressman for the 1st Congressional District, which spans from south central Kentucky to the river counties of far western Kentucky. Contact him with any questions or concerns in his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-3115, in the Tompkinsville Office at (270) 487-9509, in the Paducah Office at (270) 408-1865, or schedule an appointment in the Madisonville Office by calling (270) 487-9509.