Miss. Disaster Assistance Deadline Only 2 Weeks Away

February 24, 2006

Homeowners, renters and business owners in Mississippi’s 49 disaster-designated counties who sustained damage due to Hurricane Katrina have just two weeks remaining to apply for disaster assistance through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

March 11, 2006, is the last day new applications will be accepted by FEMA for assistance.

“We want people to understand this deadline is for new disaster applications,” said Nick Russo, federal coordinating officer for the Mississippi disaster recovery. “If they have already applied, their cases will continue to be processed. New applications will not be accepted after the March 11, 2006, deadline.”

FEMA’s Individual and Household Assistance Program provides money and services to help people in the disaster area when losses are not covered by insurance and property has been damaged or destroyed.

Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses of real and personal property must also be submitted by that date. The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to qualified homeowners, renters, landlords, certain private non-profit organizations and businesses of any size that sustained uninsured or underinsured losses due to the disaster.

“If any family has suffered losses or damages as a result of Hurricane Katrina and has not registered for assistance yet, I urge them to call and register before the March 11 deadline and learn what types of assistance they may be eligible for,” said Robert Latham, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

More than 515,600 individuals and households have registered for disaster assistance in Mississippi. More than $1 billion in FEMA disaster funds has been disbursed to individuals and households. Additionally, the SBA disaster assistance program has approved more than $1.5 billion in disaster loans.

Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not done so to apply as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. Individuals may also register for disaster assistance online at www.fema.gov.

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