ATLANTA, Ga. -- Mississippi residents in the five disaster-declared counties - Adams, Hancock, Harrison, Washington and Wilkinson - who sustained damage during Hurricane Gustav's severe weather of Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, 2008, have only one week remaining to apply for federal and state disaster assistance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008, is the last day applications will be accepted.
FEMA's registration number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those who are speech- or hearing-impaired. The lines are operational everyday, 24 hours. Applicants also can register online at www.fema.gov.
"There are several forms of disaster assistance available to storm victims," said MEMA Director Mike Womack. "For example, you could be eligible for reimbursement of temporary housing expenses, essential home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses, but if you have not registered with FEMA by Nov. 25, it will be too late to get any federal or state aid.
"Also, anyone who received a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan application should complete and return it as soon as possible. No one is required to take a loan but if the SBA determines that an applicant is ineligible for a loan, that applicant will be referred back to FEMA for consideration for a grant. Disaster grants do not have to be paid back," added Womack.
The deadline to return U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan applications also is Nov. 25. Disaster loan applications received after that date will be reviewed by SBA on a case-by-case basis.
For questions regarding SBA disaster loan applications, call the toll-free SBA Customer Service Center, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1-800-659-2955, or visit the SBA web site at www.sba.gov, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Disaster victims can visit SBA's secure Web site at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply online for disaster loans.
Applicants who have questions regarding the status of their disaster claims should call FEMA's Helpline. That number is the same as the registrations line, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals should call 1-800-4642-7585.
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.