Miss. Residents Have Limited Time to Apply for Disaster Assistance

March 9, 2006

Time is running out for Mississippians who sustained damage due to Hurricane Katrina to apply for disaster assistance. The deadline for new applications is March 11, 2006.

Individuals, families and business owners in the disaster-designated counties who sustained losses and still have not applied for assistance need to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or ( TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired . Both numbers are operational Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Individuals may also register for disaster assistance online at www.fema.gov .

The 49 eligible counties include: Adams, Amite, Attala, Claiborne, Choctaw, Clarke, Copiah, Covington , Forrest, Franklin , George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson , Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson, Winston and Yazoo.

“We want every eligible Mississippi individual, family and business owner to receive the assistance they need to resume their lives,” said Nick Russo, federal coordinating officer for the Mississippi disaster recovery effort. “It is imperative people call and apply before the March 11, 2006 deadline.”

Even if a family has insurance, they may still be eligible for disaster assistance for under-insured losses. Federal and state officials urge Mississippians in the designated counties to call the FEMA Helpline to determine what types of assistance they could receive.

“This is our final effort to reach out to any disaster victims who still haven’t applied for assistance,” said Robert Latham, Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses of real and personal property suffered by homeowners, renters, landlords and businesses of any size must also be submitted by the March 11, 2006 deadline.

People who have already applied may call the FEMA Helpline at the same numbers, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired, even after the deadline, to check on the status of their application, make changes to their personal information and receive additional details.

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