WASHINGTON - The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for the state of Mississippi to help people and communities recover from the effects of severe storms and flooding beginning on March 20, 2008, and continuing.
FEMA Administrator David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. Paulison said that the President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Bolivar, Warren, Washington, and Wilkinson counties.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Federal funding also is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties within the state.
Paulison named Michael L. Parker as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Parker said that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
FEMA coordinates the federal government?s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.