GAUTIER, Miss. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) report that more than $4 million in disaster assistance has been sent to hurricane victims.
- More than $2.8 million has been approved in FEMA grants to help disaster-affected homeowners and renters with temporary housing and emergency disaster repairs to their homes.
- Residents who applied to FEMA for help with eligible disaster needs, such as replacing personal property, medical expenses, vehicle costs, and certain other expenses have received more than $1.2 million in checks thus far.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued nearly 3,000 applications for low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, landlords, businesses of any size and non-profit organizations. The SBA can provide the needed assistance to help pay for the repair or replacement of uninsured or underinsured disaster losses. The low-interest rate for homeowners and renters is 3.187 percent and for businesses is 2.900 percent, with loan terms that can go up to 30 years. Loans of up to $200,000 to repair/replace real estate and up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property can be made through SBA. Business loans can go up to $1.5 million for real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and all other physical losses. Loan amounts may be increased by up to 20 percent for devices to mitigate against damage to the real property of the same type as the disaster.
- More than 6,800 individuals in designated counties have registered by calling FEMA’s toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. The lines are open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Due to the high volume of calls, hurricane victims are asked to be patient. Mississippians have until November 15 to apply. Those with insurance should call their insurance agent first to see what will be covered under their policy. Residents are encouraged to make their application call early in the morning or late in the evening when the lines may be less busy. Those who need to update contact telephone numbers or personal information after applying can do so by calling the same toll-free number.
- FEMA inspectors are in affected neighborhoods and have visited more than 4,500 homes to verify damages and losses. Mississippians are reminded to ask for a current photo ID before allowing an inspector into their home or on their property. Residents should secure their identity as well and not give out any personal information, such as a Social Security number, to anyone other than the FEMA personnel who ask for that information during registration. FEMA inspections are free, and any incident of fraud or price gouging should be reported to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.
- More than 4,000 people have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) open in affected areas. DRCs are designed to serve those who need disaster information, want to check on the status of their application, or get information on ways to reduce losses from future disasters. Financial payments as well as food and clothing are not provided directly from a DRC. Information on voluntary agencies, and the services they can provide, will be available at the center.
Those who want to go to a DRC can visit the one nearest to them or visit any DRC that is open. Closing dates are also noted in the listings.
DRC locations are as follow with hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until closing date listed.