Use Disaster Assistance Funds Wisely

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Release date: 
May 13, 2010
Release Number: 

CLINTON, Miss. -- Many survivors of the recent deadly spring storms and tornadoes that raced across Mississippi are receiving assistance from MEMA and FEMA to help in their recovery, and the proper management of that money is important.

How might those funds be used? In these days of economic stress, the desire by people to stabilize a difficult financial situation for their children and families may lead to the misuse of a housing assistance check, or funds provided for other disaster-related needs. To help people avoid the consequences of misusing disaster assistance money, some simple rules offer a good guide.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved more than $1.3 million in disaster assistance to Mississippians through its Individuals and Households Program. These funds are authorized to be used for the following purposes:

Housing Needs

  • Repairs to return a home to a safe, sanitary and functional condition;
  • Short-term rental assistance based on fair market rents in the affected area; and,
  • Funds to assist in the replacement of a disaster-destroyed home.

Other Disaster-Related Needs

  • Medical and dental needs;
  • Essential personal property needs;
  • Transportation; and,
  • Funeral expenses not covered by insurance.

In order to meet the needs of eligible residents quickly, FEMA funds are disbursed by check or electronic fund transfer as soon as they are approved. A letter explaining the purpose of the check will arrive separately and may be received at a later date. Checks must be used for the intended purpose.

For more information, contact the State Emergency Joint Information Center at 866-920-MEMA (6362), or visit us online at You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook using the keyword MSEMA.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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