Gulfport, MS -- More than $1.6 million in federal grants or loans has been approved to help Mississippians in seven counties that were declared disaster areas by the president following the severe weather that occurred between September 23 and October 6, 2002, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported today.
Also today, FEMA and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) have announced the scheduled opening tomorrow of two additional fixed-site Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) - one to be located in Hancock County at Smith Machine Shop, 7095 Road C (Stennis Airport), Kiln, and the other in Jackson County at the Mississippi State University Extension Services Building, 2941 Pascagoula St., Pascagoula. A mobile DRC has been deployed to service applicants in the disaster-declared outlying areas, providing a more convenient way for applicants to receive personal one-on-one assistance in those areas.
The first fixed-site DRC, which opened today, is located at the Gaston Hewes Recreational Center, 2608 17th Street, Gulfport.
The $1,646,210 in federal grants and loans does not include costs yet to be totaled to help the state and local governments pay for cleaning up debris and for damages to roads, bridges and other public facilities.
1,218 residents in the seven Mississippi counties have registered for individual disaster assistance since President Bush's disaster declaration of October 1.
Disaster housing checks totaling $1,120,960 have been approved to assist with temporary housing and minor home repairs. FEMA inspectors have completed 750 property inspections.
Mississippi officials so far have approved $289,150 for Individual and Family Grant (IFG) assistance. IFG may be used to cover serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other programs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved $236,100 in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.
35 Mississippi governments, agencies and private non-profit entities have expressed an interest in applying for assistance from the FEMA/Mississippi Public Assistance program that provides funds for the repair of public facilities such as roads, bridges, public buildings and utilities, and for debris removal. Certain private non-profit organizations that operate eligible facilities may qualify for assistance.
253 persons have called the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for information and answers to questions about their applications.
Figures listed below are as of close of business Thursday, October 10, 2002, and reflect approved claims. Not all applicants are eligible for Disaster Housing assistance.
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Individuals may register for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TDD 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired. While most assistance offered under government programs covers basic needs only and will not compensate individuals f...