Jackson, MS -- With the February 5th application deadline for federal and state disaster assistance approaching, total aid delivered to residents and businesses in the 17 disaster-stricken Mississippi counties reached $7,676,773, today. So far, 1,855 applications have been received from individuals, families and business owners who sustained disaster losses resulting from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred between November 24 and December 17, 2001.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has approved Individual and Family Grant checks to 450 families totaling $1,288,999, while $1,267,374 in disaster housing assistance checks was sent to 936 families. The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 96 low interest disaster recovery loans for a total of $5,120,400, so far.
Gracia Szczech, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's official in charge of the recovery effort, said, "If you suffered damage resulting from the recent severe weather and have not registered for assistance yet, time is running out. There are less than two weeks left to apply for assistance. The deadline is February 5."
The FEMA toll-free registration number is 1-800-621-3362. The number for the hearing or speech impaired to call is 1-800-462-7585.
Leon Shaifer, Mississippi's coordinating officer for disaster recovery, added, "With less than two weeks left to apply for disaster assistance, we urge everyone who sustained damage during the recent severe weather to make that one toll-free phone call. That's all that is necessary to register for disaster assistance. You make one call to FEMA and provide some basic information. Typically, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes."
Applications received so far by county are: Bolivar, 152; Coahoma, 52; DeSoto, 144; Grenada, 6; Hinds, 5; Humphreys, 206; Lafayette, 16; Leake, 9; Madison, 112; Panola, 196; Quitman, 408; Scott, 3; Sunflower, 122; Tallahatchie, 119; Tate, 27; Tunica, 50; and Washington, 228.