CLINTON, Miss. – Nearly one in three Mississippi households affected by Hurricane Isaac uses the Internet or a Web-enabled cell phone to get disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Of 18,000 households that requested FEMA help in the first two weeks after the storm, about 5,000 used a computer and an additional 1,000 used a smartphone.
FEMA offers Internet access for computers and smartphones at www.DisasterAssistance.gov and m.fema.gov and has a free app to support the process.
Computers and phones with web browsers can:
- Submit a request for help and check on their application.
- Update contact information.
- Add insurance and bank information.
- Learn about other types of disaster assistance from several federal agencies that participate in DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Use a questionnaire to streamline recovery.
Non-smartphones can be pretty smart, too. Any phone with text service can find a disaster recovery center in about 10 seconds:
- Address the text to 43362.
- In the message, type DRC followed by a space, then type the zip code you want to search. For example, if you lived in Pike County your outgoing message would be DRC 39652.
- In seconds you’ll receive a text with the street address of the nearest disaster recovery center.
- Sending this text will not add you to a list.
FEMA and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency urge households with hurricane losses to sign up for help regardless of the amount of damage or insurance. FEMA assistance can include grants for rent and home repairs, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to cover uninsured property losses, and referrals to several dozen other agencies that have free disaster recovery services.
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.