Columbus, MS -- The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will close at 6 p.m., Tuesday, December 17.
The center in the former Lowe's Home Supply at 2320 Highway 45 North is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Even though the center is closing, help is still as close as a telephone call. FEMA maintains a toll-free disaster helpline number at 800-621-FEMA (3362), or for the hearing or speech impaired, TTY, 800-462-7585. The telephone numbers are operational from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., CST, seven days a week until further notice.
Anyone who has not currently registered with FEMA needs to call either of those numbers to register for disaster assistance.
Since the November 14, 2002 federal disaster declaration, more than 1,100 residents and business owners from Clay, Lowndes, Monroe, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties have registered for disaster assistance. The DRC has had more than 700 visitors since it opened in Columbus on November 18.
Disaster recovery programs include housing assistance, grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other programs, and low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for tornado-damaged residential and business property. Disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, and other special services also are available to eligible individuals affected by the disaster.