PURVIS, Miss. – In the month since thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding caused widespread destruction across the Pine Belt, the federal government has approved more than $3.2 million to help Mississippians respond to and recover from the storms.
On Feb. 13, the president declared a major disaster and ordered federal aid to individuals and households and to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the storms. Counties either initially declared eligible for assistance or added later are Greene, Forrest, Lamar, Jefferson Davis, Marion, Perry and Wayne.
The response to the storm and flooding damage has involved the whole community: federal, state, and local agencies, the private sector, faith-based and voluntary agencies.
The Mississippi disaster at a glance:
(As of close of business March 10)
- 2,816 people contacted FEMA for help or information.
- $2.4 million distributed to individuals and households. This includes:
- $1,754,997 in housing assistance.
- $623,595 in other needs assistance.
- 1,706 homes inspected.
- 1,581 people have visited Disaster Recovery Centers in five different locations. Two centers currently are in operation Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.:
- Ben McNair Recreation Center, 300 North 12th Ave., Hattiesburg.
- Lamar Park, 226 Pinewood Drive Hattiesburg.
- Small Business Administration:
- 1,390 applications issued to homeowners, businesses, and renters.
- $747,400 approved.
- 29 FEMA community relations specialists have met face-to-face with hundreds of storm survivors. Paired with MEMA specialists, teams have delivered vital recovery information door-to-door, to community and faith-based organizations and to people with special needs.
- 1,081 customers at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Economy Supply and Marvin’s spoke with FEMA mitigation-outreach experts on how best to repair and rebuild safer and stronger.
- Nine FEMA Corps team members have assisted in all phases of the disaster recovery process.
Assistance to individuals and households is only part of federal disaster-recovery assistance.
Under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, an estimated $6.1 million may be available to reimburse state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations for their response and recovery efforts.
Additional funds for eligible hazard-mitigation measures will be made available to the state of Mississippi to help prevent damage from future disasters.
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.