CLINTON, Miss. -- Nearly one month after the April 23-24 tornadoes, federal disaster assistance provided to tornado survivors reached more than $2.4 million, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
More than 1,600 individuals, families and businesses registered for some type of assistance. Approved funds included low-interest loans, and grants for temporary housing expenses, essential home repairs and other serious disaster-related needs.
"With help from their neighbors, voluntary agencies, local government, MEMA and FEMA, tornado survivors are working hard to get back on their feet," said MEMA Director Mike Womack. "We're proud of the recovery so far, but there's more work to do."
"Through teamwork, we've been able to help a lot of people in the last month," said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch. "FEMA is only part of the team, and we're thankful for each and every one of the disaster response agencies who've contributed to the recovery efforts."
Here is a summary of assistance provided to Mississippians through Thursday, May 20:
- More than $1.8 million has been approved for housing expenses, including temporary rental assistance, home repair costs and assistance toward replacing destroyed homes.
- Nearly $280,000 has been approved to cover other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and essential personal possessions.
- More than $135,000 has been set aside for disaster unemployment assistance.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has distributed nearly 800 applications for low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. Nearly $410,000 has been approved.
- Inspectors completed more than 1,100 inspections of homes so FEMA can determine eligibility for housing assistance.
- Nearly 1,800 visits have been made to Disaster Recovery Centers jointly operated by MEMA and FEMA.
- AmeriCorps members and volunteers completed 19,415 hours and finished at least 356 different work assignments in the disaster areas, including debris removal and minor repairs.
- More than 2,200 contacts made by MEMA/FEMA community relations teams canvassing the disaster areas since April 29. The teams go door-to-door to offer individuals and small business owners information about available disaster assistance programs.
- Approximately 2,340 publications, which provide helpful rebuilding advice and information on the National Flood Insurance Program, have been made available to more than 320 Mississippians who visited FEMA specialists at recovery centers and/or area building supply stores. Similar information is available online at www.fema.gov/rebuild/recovery/resources.
The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is June 28. People who suffered losses in Attala, Choctaw, Holmes, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Union, Warren, and Yazoo counties can apply by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585. Phone lines are open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT. Information also is available online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
For more information, contact the State Emergency Joint Information Center at 866-920-MEMA (6362), or visit us online at www.msema.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook using the keyword MSEMA.
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