PURVIS, Miss. – The MEMA and FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Hattiesburg will close for good at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 27.
Mississippians affected by the recent severe weather, tornadoes and flooding can meet face-to-face with disaster-recovery specialists at the center until that time. Also on hand are representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration who can advise survivors about low-interest loans that might be vailable to homeowners and renters. The SBA can also help businesses of any size with disaster-related losses or damages.
“We want to ensure that everyone in the area that was affected by the severe weather is aware of the assistance that may be available to help get them back on their feet,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “We urge anyone who has not registered with FEMA to do so as soon as possible with the deadline just a few weeks away.”
“This is the last Disaster Recovery Center remaining open in Mississippi,” said Terry Quarles, FEMA federal coordinating officer. “We close the centers when we feel that the public has been sufficiently served and we can let our recovery specialists return home.”
The center, at Ben McNair Recreation Center, 300 North 12th Ave., is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 23, it will be open from 8 a.m. to noon only.
Those seeking assistance to help recover from storm damages and losses should first register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or with web-enabled smartphones or other wireless devices at m.fema.gov.
Applicants also may call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. C-Spire wireless customers can register by calling #362.
After the center closes, the websites and phones at FEMA will remain available for registrations and to follow the progress of any applications. The deadline to register with FEMA or to apply to SBA for any loan is April 15.
The declared counties are Forrest, Greene, Lamar, Marion, Jefferson Davis, Perry and Wayne.
Since the president made these counties eligible for FEMA assistance, nearly $2.75 million has been disbursed in FEMA grants; SBA has dispensed $2.3 million in low-interest loans.
About 3,000 people in Mississippi have registered for assistance, and nearly 2,000 have visited the Disaster Centers that MEMA and FEMA opened after the storms.
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.