WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Mississippi and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding on April 28, 2014 and continuing.
The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Rankin, Wayne, and Winston counties.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency work for damage from the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Rankin, Wayne, and Winston counties.
Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Mark H. Landry has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Landry said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.
Portions of Mississippi Declared Federal Disaster Areas Following Severe Storms and Tornadoes
JACKSON—Seven counties in Mississippi have been declared federal disaster areas following devastation from severe storms and tornadoes that swept through the state beginning April 28. Gov. Phil Bryant requested the expedited declaration from the president on April 29, and Mississippi’s congressional delegation on Wednesday sent a letter to the president in support of the governor’s request.
“We have experienced tragic loss of life as a result of these storms and tornadoes, and many Mississippians have lost their homes and all that they own,” Gov. Bryant said. “We have a strong working relationship with our partners at the local and federal levels, and I appreciate Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and the Mississippi congressional delegation for aiding in this quick response from the federal government. This assistance will help Mississippi do what it does best—rebuild and rebound in the face of adversity.”
The following counties are eligible for the Individual Assistance Program: Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Rankin, Wayne, and Winston. Individual Assistance is aid provided to individuals and households and can include housing assistance, unemployment assistance, and money to replace damaged or destroyed belongings.
The same counties are also eligible for certain types of aid through FEMA’s Public Assistance program. FEMA’s Public Assistance program administers aid to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations. Through this program, costs incurred since April 28 by the eligible counties, governments and non-profits could be reimbursed by FEMA through its 75 percent cost-sharing program.
The Public Assistance aid available at this time includes assistance in Categories A and B. FEMA Category A Public Assistance includes 75 percent reimbursement for eligible costs incurred from removing and disposing of storm debris from public properties and rights of way. FEMA Category B Public Assistance includes 75 percent reimbursement for eligible emergency work, including actions to prevent threats to life and property and overtime incurred by emergency responders.
Mississippi also received approval to administer FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program. This program provides assistance for actions that reduce the risk to life and property from natural hazards.
As more thorough damage assessments are completed by state and federal inspection teams, additional categories of assistance, such as aid in repairing or replacing public buildings and aid in repairing damaged roads, may be added. Further damage assessments could also warrant an updated request from the state to extend Individual Assistance and Public Assistance aid to additional counties.