Jackson, MS -- State of Mississippi and federal officials encourage residents of Calhoun, Clay, Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Pontotoc and Webster counties who suffered damage or losses from the May 5th through 8th severe storms, tornadoes and high winds to apply for disaster assistance as soon as possible.
To apply, simply call the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for persons with speech or hearing impairments. Operators are available to assist applicants every day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., until further notice.
On May 23rd, President Bush declared the nine Mississippi counties eligible for a wide range of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state disaster assistance programs. These programs are designed to help homeowners, renters and businesses owners recover from the devastation caused by the storms that struck the area May 5 through 8, 2003.
FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer for the recovery operation, Carlos Mitchell, urged everyone in the counties who suffered disaster-related damage to apply immediately. He said, "The process of recovering from this disaster begins when you call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), FEMA's toll-free application number."
The various programs and services offered by FEMA and the Mississippi State Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) include financial assistance to pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Mississippi State Coordinating Officer, Leon Shaifer, added, "Mississippians who had damage from the May 5th through 8th severe storms, tornadoes and high winds have until July 22nd to apply for assistance. You must apply by phone in order to receive assistance."
A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open today in the Egypt community near Okolona. After applying by phone, applicants may visit the DRC to meet face-to-face with disaster recovery officials to discuss the various forms of assistance that are available or to inquire about their applications. The DRC will be located at the Egypt Voting Precinct & Community Center, 253 County Road 177, and will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until further notice.