CLINTON, Miss.. -- State and federal help for the ongoing Mississippi River flooding is available -- but only if the survivors apply for assistance. It is now time to apply for help.
"The historic Mississippi River flooding has brought considerable damage to Mississippians along the waterway and its tributaries," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack. "We are glad to have this chance to begin the assistance process."
"We want to give the survivors every opportunity to register and get help as they recover from the flooding," said Federal Coordinating Officer Terry L. Quarles.
Residents suffering losses in the 14 Mississippi counties designated as disaster areas resulting from the flooding that began May 3 are urged to register for assistance as soon as possible.
Being proactive and taking charge can help speed the possibility of receiving help from the MEMA and Federal Emergency Management Agency..
- You can apply for help if your losses occurred in the counties of Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, DeSoto, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson, and Yazoo counties.
- Register even if you are insured. Your insurance coverage may not be adequate; therefore FEMA may be able to assist with some of your uninsured or underinsured disaster-related losses. Anyone in the designated counties who suffered any damage or loss should register for assistance.
- Remember, disaster assistance covers a wide range of losses. Disaster-related damage or loss of essential personal property, anything from a wheelchair to a major appliance, may qualify for some form of federal/state assistance.
Here's what applicants can do by phone:
- Register for disaster assistance.
- Notify FEMA of a change in address or phone number.
- Track the progress of your application.
- Learn how to appeal a FEMA decision.
- Get answers to questions about what to do next.
To help speed recovery, Disaster Recovery Centers offer a wide variety of assistance, information and services to survivors of the Mississippi River flooding. Centers have been established in or near most of the hardest-hit counties. Survivors can get information on assistance for temporary housing, home repairs, replacing property not covered by insurance and many other programs. A locator for the centers can be found at www.fema.gov/drclocator
Here are examples of assistance often available at centers or through a referral from a center staffer:
- Legal help.
- Crisis counseling.
- Filing insurance claims.
- Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable.
- Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.
- Grants for both homeowners and renters to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral and transportation needs not covered by insurance or other federal or state programs.
- Low-interest loans to cover residential and business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.
- Loans for small business, agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations that have suffered disaster-related cash-flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover.
- Loans to farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover livestock, production and property losses.
- Filing for unemployment.
- Restoration of lost Social Security documents.
- Referrals for Veterans Administration benefits.
- Income tax assistance for filing casualty losses.
- Grants for restoring historic properties.
- Referrals for services and goods offered by charitable organizations....