Jackson, MS -- A grant program, administered by the State of Mississippi, has been activated to assist Mississippians cover the costs of disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other programs, according to federal and state disaster recovery officials.
"The federal grant program provides a safety net for people who have exhausted all other means of assistance and still have financial obligations resulting from the tornadoes, severe storms and flooding which began November 24," said Leon Shaifer, the state official in charge of disaster recovery.
Grants may be used to cover such disaster-related expenses as essential home repairs, replacement of personal property, transportation, or the rental of equipment. Grants may also be used for items not normally covered under the SBA disaster loan programs, such as medical and dental bills, funeral expenses and disaster debris removal.
"The grant program is one of the many assistance programs triggered by the major disaster declaration which President Bush issued December 7, at the request of Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Disaster applicants do not apply directly for grants, but must begin the process by registering for assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free application number, 1-800-621-3362," said Gracia Szczech, the federal official in charge of disaster recovery. "The application number for the hearing impaired is (TTY: 1-800-462-7585).
The amount of the grant depends on the unmet needs of the applicant. The grants are a last resort and in most cases are available only if an applicant has been denied a disaster loan from the U. S. Small Business Administration.