Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

Federal Aid Numbers Top $8 Million

A cooperative effort involving MEMA, FEMA, local governments and volunteer groups is underway to help disaster survivors recover.

Clearing the debris is the first step.

Voluntary agencies have responded with the experience, the tools, and the equipment to move debris and make housing repairs.

MEMA and FEMA are working together and with local governments, the volunteers and disaster survivors to get the debris moved to roadsides where it can be taken to appropriate landfills.

We continue working to identify uninsured or under-insured survivors who can move back into their homes with emergency repairs and connect them with volunteer construction groups who can complete those repairs.

Survivors have until 6 p.m. Friday to visit disaster recovery centers in Itawamba and Rankin counties.

After Friday survivors can still get help by visiting any of the six remaining centers in Mississippi or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362.

All disaster recovery centers will now be closed on Sundays. (**See NR 020 for new hours and days.)

If you have insurance, be sure to file your claim and go ahead and register with FEMA.

FEMA does not duplicate benefits that homeowner or renter insurance covers, but it may be able to provide disaster assistance when insurance coverage is not enough to cover the damage.

The only way to obtain that potential benefit is to register now for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program before the deadline.

After registration closes June 30, it will be too late to seek FEMA assistance, even if insurance benefits later prove insufficient. 

· To be eligible for federal disaster assistance, you must register with FEMA. Registering with state, local or voluntary agencies such as the American Red Cross does not qualify you for assistance from FEMA or SBA. 

· FEMA assistance does not affect benefits from other federal programs such as Social Security, SNAP or Medicaid and is not considered taxable income.

Recovery numbers 

More than $8 million in total federal disaster assistance has been approved by FEMA and SBA.

More than $4.3 million in low-interest disaster loans has been approved by SBA for renters and homeowners.

Nearly $3.8 million in FEMA Individual Assistance grants has been approved to help Mississippi disaster survivors recover, including:

Nearly $2.9 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.

Nearly $911,000 approved to help cover other essential disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.

More than 4,200 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.

2,106 (95 percent) home inspections completed.

Nearly 3,400 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.