JACKSON, Miss. – Federal assistance approved for disaster survivors in 12 Mississippi counties has reached nearly $7 million.
All emergency shelters have closed and all disaster survivors are currently housed.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is leading a Long-Term Housing Task Force, which includes FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, along with state and local officials to assess and provide assistance to families with housing needs.
FEMA assistance to individuals is not taxable income and does not affect benefits from other federal programs such as Social Security, SNAP or Medicaid.
Individuals and households with home insurance should register with FEMA now even though they may not immediately qualify for FEMA assistance. Once registered, they will have up to a year to request FEMA assistance to help cover the gap if the insurance proves inadequate. It may be too late to register when the insurance settlement is received. The deadline to register is June 30, 2014.
Here is a summary through Friday, May 16, of all federal assistance to individuals and households in the 12 counties designated for FEMA Individual Assistance as a result of the April 28 through May 3, 2014, storms, tornadoes and flooding.
- Nearly $7 million in total federal disaster assistance has been approved by FEMA and SBA.
- Nearly $3.6 million in FEMA Individual Assistance grants has been approved to help Mississippi disaster survivors recover, including:
- More than $2.7 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- Nearly $853,000 approved to help cover other essential disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- Nearly $3.4 million in low-interest disaster loans has been approved by SBA for renters and homeowners.
- More than 3,900 people have contacted FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance.
- In addition to FEMA grants for individuals and families, other forms of disaster assistance are provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and other partner agencies such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. FEMA refers some survivors to those agencies.
- All businesses that contact FEMA are also referred to the SBA.
- Others may be interested in other programs such as disaster unemployment assistance and disaster legal services.
- 1,759 home inspections completed.
- Nearly 3,000 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.
- 9 disaster recovery centers are open across the affected areas.
- FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance crews assisting survivors have visited 5,452 dwellings and assisted 3,520 survivors.
Disaster survivors in Itawamba, Jones, Leake, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, Wayne and Winston counties may be eligible for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program.
Individuals and households in those counties can register for FEMA Individual Assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov, via smartphone or tablet at m.FEMA.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY should call 800-462-7585. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (central time) and assistance is available in multiple languages. FEMA assistance does not affect benefits from other federal programs such as Social Security, SNAP or Medicaid and is not considered taxable income.
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). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
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.