Atlanta, GA -- The tornadoes that ripped through the six Mississippi counties of Lowdnes, Oktibbeha, Clay, Monroe, Noxubee, Lafayette a year ago this week triggered federal assistance that now adds up to $24,651,335.
A summary of assistance shows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
- Provided $640,454 to 427 homeowners and renters (average $1,499 each) from FEMA's Housing Assistance program that provides money for repairs and rental assistance.
- Granted $1,382,977 to 383 households (average $3,610 each) to cover other needs related to the disaster, such as funeral and dental expenses resulting from the disaster, loss of personal property and transportation. Both the Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance programs are administered by FEMA.
- Reimbursed the state and local governments $16,696,493
in Public Assistance program funding for repair, replacement or clean up of
damaged infrastructure. Most of this was for municipal utilities, the removal
of debris from rights-of-way, and overtime costs for emergency personnel.
The figure represents 75 percent of the overall cost.
- The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has disbursed $5,318,000 for Public Assistance to local governments.
- Allotted $9,911 for disaster unemployment assistance for those whose jobs were temporarily interrupted or wiped out by the storm.
- Altogether, FEMA contributed a total of $ 18,729,835 from its programs to help storm victims - individuals and families, governmental and certain private non-profit agencies.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which partners with FEMA on post-disaster recovery efforts, made $5,921,500 in low-interest loans (with rates as low as 2.937 percent) to 137 homeowners, renters and business that suffered damage and were not fully compensated by insurance.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.