$10 Million approved for Mississippi Disaster Survivors

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from FEMA

Federal assistance approved for disaster survivors in 12 Mississippi counties has reached more than $10 million.

Just three weeks after tornadoes ripped through Mississippi, FEMA's National Mobile Disaster Hospital opened Monday in Louisville, Miss. and is being operated by the staff of the Winston Medical Center, which was severely damaged by a tornado April 28. The temporary facility will remain in place until the medical center is rebuilt. About 85 percent of the medical center staff is employed to operate the mobile hospital.

The opening, attended by Governor Bryant and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, was the culmination of coordination and teamwork by MEMA, the Mississippi Department of Health, the State of North Carolina, Winston County, the city of Louisville, North Carolina Baptist Men and Women, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and FEMA. This is the first time the National Mobile Disaster Hospital has been used as a fully operational hospital.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is leading a joint Long-Term Housing Task Force, which includes FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, along with state and local officials, volunteers and the private sector to assess and provide assistance to families with housing needs.

Here is a summary through Thursday, May 22, of all federal assistance to individuals and households in the 12 counties designated for FEMA Individual Assistance as a result of the April 28 through May 3, 2014, severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

• More than $10 million in total federal disaster assistance has been approved by FEMA and SBA.

• More than $6.3 million in low-interest disaster home loans has been approved by SBA for 89 homeowners and renters.

• More than $3.9 million in FEMA Individual Assistance grants has been approved to help Mississippi disaster survivors recover, including:

• More than $3 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.

• Nearly $935,000 approved to help cover other essential disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses and household possessions. Included is approval of assistance with funeral expenses for two disaster-related deaths. Other funeral expense requests are pending.

• More than 4,400 people have contacted FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance.

• In addition to FEMA grants for individuals and families, other forms of disaster assistance are provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and other partner agencies such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. FEMA refers some survivors to those agencies.

• All businesses that contact FEMA are also referred to the SBA.

• Others may be interested in other programs such as disaster unemployment assistance and disaster legal services.

• 2,279 home inspections completed.

• More than 3,700 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.

• 8 disaster recovery centers are open across the affected areas.

• FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance crews have visited 7,577 dwellings and assisted 5,209 survivors.

Disaster survivors in Itawamba, Jones, Leake, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, Wayne and Winston counties may be eligible for FEMA's Individual Assistance program.

Individuals and households in those counties can register for FEMA Individual Assistance online atDisasterAssistance.gov, via smartphone or tablet at m.FEMA.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY should call 800-462-7585. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (central time) and assistance is available in multiple languages.

For additional information about SBA low-interest disaster loans, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visiting sba.gov/disaster. SBA representatives are available at ALL disaster recovery centers. Disaster recovery center locations can be found online at FEMA.gov/DRCLocator.

For more information on Mississippi disaster recovery, go to fema.gov/disaster/4175. Visit the MEMA site atmsema.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/msemaorg.