Jackson, MS -- A total of $793,789 in federal/state disaster aid has been approved for residents of the nine northeast Mississippi counties who sustained damages during the May 5th through 8th, 2003, severe storms, tornadoes and high winds. President Bush declared the counties disaster areas on May 23rd, at the request of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.
As of today, 209 Mississippians have applied for the various forms of federal/state disaster assistance.
The nine counties in which residents are eligible for disaster aid are: Calhoun, Clay, Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Pontotoc and Webster.
Anyone who suffered storm, tornado or high-wind damage May 5th through 8th should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance. Those with speech or hearing impairment should call TTY 1-800-462-7585.
The following is a breakdown of the federal/state disaster aid approved to date:
- Individual & Households Program (IHP) - - Federal Share: $343,786
- Individual & Households Program (IHP) - - State Share: $ 61,403
- U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans - - $388,600
Leon Shaifer, the state coordinating officer in charge of long-term recovery, stated, "Mississippians who sustained storm damage during May 5th through 8th may be eligible for federal and state disaster aid. Call FEMA's toll-free application number, 1-800-621-3362, as soon as possible. Individuals and business owners may be eligible for a low-interest loan from the U. S. Small Business Administration's disaster loan program. If, however, individuals cannot repay a loan, they may be eligible for a grant."
Individuals, families and business owners who reside in the designated counties and who sustained disaster losses during the declared severe weather period are eligible for a wide range of disaster assistance programs and have until July 22nd to apply.
Carlos Mitchell, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official in charge of the recovery effort, added, "We don't want to leave anyone out who may be eligible for disaster assistance. Don't disqualify yourself because you carry insurance; you may find out later that your insurance is inadequate to cover all your costs. Or, you may be eligible for other disaster assistance programs."