Jackson, MS -- Mississippi residents and business owners located in the nine northeastern disaster-declared counties who suffered losses in the May 5th through 8th severe storms, tornadoes and high winds, have approximately one month left in which to apply for federal/state disaster recovery assistance. Nearly 240 individuals have applied for assistance to date.
The nine Mississippi counties declared a disaster by President Bush on May 23rd are: Calhoun, Clay, Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Pontotoc and Webster.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will accept applications through July 22 for those seeking disaster assistance. The deadline for submitting loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for flood-related losses to real and personal property is also July 22.
Carlos Mitchell, federal coordinating officer, FEMA, stated, "We want people to understand that these are application deadlines. The requests for assistance from individuals who have already applied will continue to be processed, but by law we cannot accept any new applications after the July 22nd date."
Leon Shaifer, state coordinating officer, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), said he hopes everyone who needs recovery assistance will be reached.
"We're in constant contact with the news media and we have reached out to people in isolated areas," he said. "But we depend a lot on friends, family and neighbors to encourage people who have suffered losses and need assistance to call the FEMA application number," Shaifer added.
Mitchell and Shaifer urge those who have not yet applied for disaster assistance to do so as soon as possible by calling FEMA's toll-free application line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may call the TTY application number at 1-800-462-7585. Phone lines are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., everyday.