LEE COUNTY, Miss. — Volunteers, churches and nonprofit agencies from Itawamba and Lee counties and Tupelo have joined forces to form the Northeast Mississippi Community Recovery Committee to assist in long=term recovery in the wake of the April 28, 2014, tornado.
The Board of Directors has elected former Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. as the committee chair and David Rumbarger of the Community Development Corporation as vice-chair. Other officers include Melinda Tidwell, executive director of United Way of Northeast Mississippi, as secretary and Mike Clayborne of CREATE Foundation as treasurer.
In a press conference Monday, Reed said the volunteer agency was created after listening to other communities that have recovered from disasters similar to the April storm that raked through Tupelo and portions of Lee and Itawamba counties. Reed also noted the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to help form the committee.
“The purpose of this committee is to communicate, coordinate and cooperate, helping citizens and businesses during the recovery process,” he said.
With long-term recovery in mind, Reed and other members of the committee stressed the need for citizens to register with FEMA and the Small Business Administration before the June 30 deadline.
Those who have yet to register with FEMA may do so on the Internet at DisasterAssistance.gove or by calling the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362.
“If you have had damage, you should register with FEMA. You should fill out the SBA applications,” he said. “The SBA disaster loan is for individuals – homeowners, renters and businesses. You do not have to accept the loan or qualify for the loan, but to qualify for other assistance; you must apply for the SBA disaster loan.”