Miss. Residents Receive Disaster Aid

September 23, 2004

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and voluntary agencies continue to help Mississippians recover from Hurricane Ivan. To date, more than $400,000 in disaster assistance has been sent to residents to meet their most basic disaster-recovery needs.

More than a quarter of a million dollars has been approved in FEMA grants to help disaster-affected homeowners and renters with temporary housing and emergency disaster repairs to their homes.

Residents who applied to FEMA for help with eligible disaster needs, such as replacing personal property, medical expenses, vehicle costs, and certain other expenses have received more than $150,000 in checks thus far.

From the onset of Hurricane Ivan, more than one million pounds of ice and 120,000 gallons of water were delivered and distributed throughout affected Mississippi counties.

To meet immediate needs in Mississippi, the American Red Cross has sheltered more than 11,000 people and served more than 71,000 meals.

More than 2,800 individuals have registered by calling FEMA’s toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. The lines are open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Due to the high volume of calls, hurricane victims are asked to be patient. Mississippians have until Nov. 14 to apply.

Those with insurance should call their insurance agent first to see what will be covered under their policy. Residents are encouraged to make their application call early in the morning or late in the evening when the lines may be less busy. Those who need to update contact telephone numbers or personal information after applying can do so by calling the same toll-free number.

FEMA inspectors are in affected neighborhoods visiting damaged homes to verify losses and damages. Mississippians are reminded to ask for proper identification before allowing an inspector into their home or giving out any personal information.

More than 600 people have reportedly visited the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in George, Jackson and Wayne Counties. DRCs are designed to serve those who need disaster information, want to check on the status of their application, or get information on ways to reduce losses from future disasters. Financial payments as well as food and clothing are not provided directly from a DRC. Information on voluntary agencies, and the services they can provide, will be available at the center.

People living or working in the 10 disaster-declared counties (Clarke, George, Greene Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lauderdale, Perry, Stone and Wayne) whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ivan may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Those who need more information may call 1-888-844-3577 or visit their local WIN Job Center.

Hurricane Ivan victims who have experienced incidents of fraud or price gouging should contact the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.

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