Jackson, MS -- The process of applying for federal disaster assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, restoration and replacement of public facilities damaged as a result of the tornadoes, flooding and severe storms during the period November 24 through December 17, 2001, will be explained at a series of briefings for community officials.
Briefings on federal disaster aid programs are scheduled for local officials, and damage inspection teams are ready to go into the field, according to a joint announcement from Leon Shaifer, state coordinating officer, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and Gracia Szczech, FEMA's federal coordinating officer for the disaster recovery effort.
To assist public agencies in applying for funding, Shaifer said the four applicants' briefing have been scheduled to brief officials from the counties declared for aid to local governments on the procedures to follow when applying for federal disaster assistance in the recovery effort. "The briefings are designed to assist public officials in the process of applying for assistance; they are not designed for individuals seeking assistance as that assistance is provided at the time an applicant registers with FEMA," said Shaifer.
Mississippi initially was declared a disaster area and therefore eligible for state/federal individual assistance by President Bush on December 7. The additional public assistance for 14 Mississippi counties was added December 20. The eligible counties are: Benton, Bolivar, Coahoma, Humphreys, Leake, Marshall, Panola, Prentiss, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tippah, Tunica and Washington.
There will be four initial briefings scheduled for 9:00 a.m. at the following dates and locations:
Thursday, January 3, 2002
Northeast MS Community College
William Waller Hall
Officials from the counties of Benton, Prentiss and Tippah
Tuesday, January 8, 2002
EMA and E-911 Building
123 N. Pearl Street
Officials from Leake County
Friday, January 4, 2002
Panola County Courthouse
151 Public Square
Officials from the counties of Coahoma, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Tallahatchie and Tunica
Wednesday, January 9, 2002
Sunflower County Schools
Education Service Building
Officials from the counties of Bolivar, Humphreys, Sunflower and Washington
With the presidential disaster declaration in place, affected local governments in these counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance to fund 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repairing, restoring or replacing damaged public facilities. Disaster assistance also may be provided to repair, restore and replace facilities owned by certain private non-profit organizations that operate and maintain educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care and other essential governmental service facilities.