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FEMA and MEMA's Community Relations Teams Reach Out to Mississippi Disaster Survivors

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Release date: 
February 15, 2013
Release Number: 

ATLANTA – Teams of federal and state disaster recovery professionals are reaching out to disaster survivors in Forrest and Lamar counties to make sure they know what help is available and how to get it.

FEMA and MEMA’s Community Relations teams go door-to-door in hard-hit areas and visit churches, schools, and other community gathering places. CR teams are easily identified by FEMA photo ID badges and their blue FEMA shirts.

The goal is to identify anyone who needs help—homeowners, renters, business owners, eligible nonprofit agencies and faith-based organizations—and explain how to register for assistance. This includes people with disabilities, those with access and functional needs, seniors, and people with limited English proficiency.

“Recovering from a disaster is difficult,” said State Coordinating Officer Robert Latham. “But state, federal, local partners along with voluntary and faith-based organizations are working together to make sure that all disaster survivors receive the assistance they need.”

Registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency is the only way survivors can get federal disaster aid.

“We try to make it simple for survivors to get the help they need. They can register online, by phone, or web-enabled devices” said Federal Coordinating Officer Terry Quarles.

FEMA registration can be done:

  • Online at any time day or night.
  • By phone or video relay at 800-621-FEMA (3362) daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. Help is available in many languages.
  • By TTY at 800-462-7585.
  • C-Spire Wireless customers can register by calling #362.
  • By web-enabled mobile devices at Select “Disaster Survivor” then “Apply Online for FEMA Assistance.”

Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 1-800-621-3362.

If there is limited access to phones or the internet, CR teams also can help survivors register for aid.

Once registered, survivors may be eligible for temporary housing, basic home repairs and other serious disaster-related needs. They also may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans.

 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.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.


Last Updated: 
February 20, 2013 - 13:53