PURVIS, Miss. –Students, staff, alumni and fans at the University of Southern Mississippi may have noticed some new faces around campus and sporting events. Folks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and FEMA Corps were on campus and at athletic events this past month to assist Golden Eagle fans affected by the recent tornadoes and flooding.
A Disaster Information Station set up on campus in the R.C. Cook Student Union served as a hub for busy students and faculty to receive information and ask questions about disaster assistance. More than 50 people visited the station between Feb. 25 and March 1.
To get the word out even more, the MEMA/FEMA community relations teams were at the USM men’s basketball game March 2 when the Golden Eagles defeated East Carolina at the Reed Green Coliseum. They greeted people at the gates, handed out flyers and answered questions as fans filed in for the game.
“Some people would walk by and we’d hand them a card and some would stop to talk,” said MEMA Individual Assistance Director Dan Magee. “A lot of people would walk up and say thank you, we appreciate ya’ll. They were really great and thankful.”
At the USM baseball game Saturday, teams stood outside the gates at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field, greeting fans and making themselves available for questions.
“We were there to provide info if they needed it,” said FEMA Corps member Katy Cobb. “They mostly just kind of gave us a smile and walked into the game.”
Though they weren’t donning black and gold like the fans, they were still there for the same reason: to support the USM community.
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.