Columbus, MS -- One month after severe storms and tornadoes swept through six Mississippi counties in November, residents and business owners continue rebuilding their lives and helping one another.
State, federal, local and voluntary agencies are working in partnership to help Mississippians with the recovery process. Following is a summary of ongoing response and recovery efforts as of close of business, Friday, December 6, 2002, from Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):
- More than $4.1 million in disaster assistance has been approved to people in the six counties affected by the tornadoes.
- To date, more than 1,226 individuals and business owners have registered for assistance through FEMA's toll-free registration line; individual and households assisted: 627 owners and 528 renters.
- 875 individuals have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers for information and assistance.
- More than $444,000 has been approved for disaster housing assistance and more than $1,014,000 approved for other needs, such as medical, dental, personal property, transportation, clothing, household items, furnishings. Inspectors have completed 717 inspections of tornado-damaged structures and are 98 percent completed.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $1,177,200 in disaster loans and issued 442 home and 176 business loan applications.
- State and federal share for Public Assistance has reached $1,482,936.
- The Interdenominational Alliance of Ministers has distributed more than $14,000 to more than 2,000 households, food to 1,303 households and clothing to 396 households.
- The American Red Cross deployed 344 workers to the Columbus disaster, distributed 149,453 meals and snacks, sheltered 58 guests and has given $32,957 for temporary housing
- The Salvation Army has had 124 volunteers and staff involved in relief efforts with more than 8,000 volunteer hours of service, provided 2,050 families with groceries, given out 22,800 items of clothing, distributed 850 clean-up kits and served more than 52,000 meals from six mobile kitchens.
- The Golden Triangle Community Agencies Recovery Efforts (GT CAREs), a Lowndes County long-term recovery interfaith organization, will be available to those in the county who have been affected by the disaster and who have unmet needs after they have exhausted federal, state and local volunteer organizational assistance. The agency is recruiting volunteers for caseworkers, home rebuilding and fund raising. Anticipated costs include $750,000 for rebuilding homes, $300,000 for repairing homes and $100,000 for demolition and debris removal.
- 38,703 cubic ...