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Flood survivors urged to register with FEMA for assistance

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Release Date: May 12, 2011
Release Number: 1983-001

CLINTON, Miss. -- Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials urge residents of the Mississippi counties newly authorized to receive federal disaster aid to register for assistance as soon as possible.

A new declaration of major disaster was approved by President Obama on May 11 for the Mississippi flooding that began May 3. Under the new declaration, 14 counties are authorized to receive aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program. The counties are Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, DeSoto, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the newly authorized counties as well as those in counties previously authorized for Individual Assistance can register by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or for those with speech or hearing-impairment, TTY 1-800-462-7585. These toll-free telephone numbers will operate 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week, until further notice. Disaster survivors also can register by going online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or on the Smartphone mobile website m.fema.gov.

Under a previous disaster declaration, federal funding also is available to eligible individuals impacted by the April tornadoes and storms in the following counties: Alcorn, Attala, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, DeSoto, Greene, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Jasper, Kemper, Lafayette, Leflore, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Newton, Panola, Quitman, Smith, Sunflower, Tishomingo, Tunica, Webster, and Winston.

Forty Mississippi counties now are eligible for Individual Assistance under the two disaster declarations, the first for storms, tornadoes, and resulting flooding and the second for flooding of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Coahoma, DeSoto, and Tunica counties are eligible for Individual Assistance under both declarations.

“If you suffered damage from the recent disasters, go online or make that call,” said MEMA Director Mike Womack. “It is the first step towards recovery.”

Individuals and business owners should register even if they have insurance. Some losses may not be covered by insurance but federal grants may cover those expenses.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal assistance, even if the person has registered with another disaster relief organization such as the American Red Cross, local officials or churches.

Applicants will need to provide:

Social Security number.
Address of the damaged property.
Description of the damage.
Information about insurance coverage.
A current contact telephone number.
An address where they can get mail.
Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.

"We understand that the people of Mississippi have been through some tough times, and we are here ready to help. We strongly recommend that you register right away," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Terry L. Quarles.

Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, medical and burial expenses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Hazard mitigation assistance also is available to all counties, and all Mississippi counties can apply for aid under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

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.