HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Nearly two months since President Trump declared a major disaster after the Jan. 21 severe storms and tornadoes in Mississippi, more than $3 million in assistance to individuals and households has been approved by MEMA and FEMA.
This includes nearly $2.2 million in FEMA housing assistance – grant money for repairing and rebuilding homes and temporary rental assistance. Nearly $850,000 in MEMA and FEMA other needs assistance also has been approved to help survivors with disaster-related expenses such as repairing or replacing lost or damaged personal property and medical, dental and funeral costs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $5.5 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses to help with repair and rebuilding costs and to help cover other disaster-related financial needs.
Whole community is key to recovery
For survivors with remaining needs beyond what insurance and federal disaster assistance can provide, MEMA and FEMA are working closely with R3SM, the local community-based long-term recovery organization. R3SM matches survivors who have unmet needs with appropriate resources to help them fully recover.
Numerous nonprofit and faith-based organizations are assisting survivors with debris removal, home repairs and other unmet needs.
Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Team Rubicon, Knights of Columbus, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Hope Reigns/8 Days of Hope, Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Latter Day Saints, Samaritan’s Purse and AmeriCorps are among the organizations providing assistance to survivors who have unmet needs as a result of the disaster. Voluntary organizations provide a wide range of assistance to disaster survivors, including debris cleanup, shelter, food, clothing, counseling, home repairs and reconstruction.
One week left to visit Hattiesburg Disaster Recovery Center
The last remaining MEMA/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, located at the C.E. Roy Community Center in Hattiesburg, is tentatively scheduled to end operations Wednesday, March 22. Survivors who need to speak with representatives from MEMA, FEMA and SBA in person are encouraged to visit the center while it remains open. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Even after the center closes, survivors can get in touch with FEMA by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.
Registration deadline fast approaching
Survivors who have not yet registered with FEMA have until March 27 to do so. Register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline.
March 27 is also the deadline to submit low-interest disaster loan applications to the SBA. Survivors can apply on online via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information or assistance with SBA disaster loans, call 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339.
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.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).
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.