Canton, MS – If you were impacted by the April 12 tornadoes, severe storms, winds or flooding in Clarke, Grenada, Jasper, Lawrence, Panola and Walthall counties, you may be eligible for limited financial assistance from FEMA. These counties were recently added to the President’s disaster declaration for Mississippi that designated Covington, Jefferson Davis and Jones counties for assistance.
FEMA has programs that may also provide some financial assistance for eligible survivors in the recently added counties. The financial assistance you may receive will help you get back on your feet and may include assistance for housing and other essential disaster-caused and related needs such as out of pocket childcare and uninsured and out of pocket medical, dental, and funeral expenses.
First, if you haven’t already done so, contact your insurance company and file a claim for the disaster-caused damage you’ve suffered. You don’t have to wait to start cleaning up but be sure to take photographs or video of the damage and also keep all receipts for repair work.
If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, contact FEMA by either going online to disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). You also can download the FEMA app to your cellphone and click on “Disaster Resources” which will lead to “Apply for Assistance Online.” Click on that button to register for assistance. You have until June 15, 2020 to register. However, the sooner you register, the quicker FEMA can respond.
Registering for assistance takes about 12 - 30 minutes. Information that may be useful to have when you register includes:
- Address of the damaged dwelling where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).
- Current mailing address.
- Current telephone number.
- Insurance information.
- Total household annual income.
- Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).
- A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.
If you reported that you cannot or may not be able to safely live in your home, it may be necessary for FEMA to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. Due to the COVID-19 nationwide emergency and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans, all FEMA field operations are suspended, inspections will be conducted remotely, by phone.
For remote inspections, FEMA inspectors will contact applicants by phone to answer questions about the type and extent of damage sustained. Remote inspections provide a new way of evaluating damage; comparable to traditional, in-person inspections and expedites the delivery of recovery assistance to survivors based on their eligibility.
Survivors with minimal damage who can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection when applying to FEMA, however, they may request an inspection if they find significant disaster-caused damage afterwards.
Remote inspections have no impact on the types of Other Needs Assistance available that do not require an inspection. This includes childcare, transportation, medical and dental, funeral expenses, moving and storage, and Group Flood Insurance Policy Assistance.
If you have any questions, you can always contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362(TTY 800-462-7585). For TTY call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) please call 800-621-3362.
FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.