PEARL, Miss. – Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms and flooding in Mississippi that began March 9, 2016, are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.
The March 25, 2016, presidential disaster declaration makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Bolivar, Coahoma and Washington counties.
Individuals and businesses in the designated counties can begin the disaster assistance process by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362, which is video relay service accessible. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have difficulty speaking may call TTY 800-462-7585. Helpline hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice.
Assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed personal property, medical and dental expenses. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration may also be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Mississippi residents should register with FEMA even if they have insurance, but only if their property was damaged by the floods. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster-relief organization. Federal disaster aid does not affect other government benefits, such as Social Security and Medicaid, and is not considered taxable income. Only one person per household is eligible to register. Survivors must use the name that appears on their Social Security cards when registering with FEMA.
Applicants will be asked for the following information:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged home or apartment
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where they can receive mail
- Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.