PEARL, Miss. – Disaster survivors in Forrest, Lamar, Marion and Wayne counties can now meet face-to-face with recovery specialists at two Disaster Recovery Centers opening today, Feb. 16, in Hattiesburg.

The centers are staffed with recovery professionals from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration who can provide information and answer questions about disaster-related assistance.

In addition to state and federal disaster assistance experts, residents will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from voluntary and faith-based groups to help with any additional unmet needs in the Disaster Recovery Centers.

The centers will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at:

Ben McNair Recreation Center (Forrest County)
300 North 12th Ave.
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Lamar Park (Lamar County)

226 Pinewood Drive

Hattiesburg, MS 39402

The first step to receiving federal disaster aid is to register with FEMA. Registration is simple and can be completed several ways:

  • Online at any time day or night.
  • By phone or video relay at 800-621-FEMA (3362) daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. Help is available in many languages.
  • By TTY at 800-462-7585.
  • C-Spire Wireless customers can register by calling #362.
  • By web-enabled mobile devices at Select “Disaster Survivor” then “Apply Online for FEMA Assistance.”

Those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362.

Disaster 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.

Survivors are encouraged to register before visiting a center if possible. Specialists at the center can explain the disaster assistance process, describe the types of help available, and answer survivors’ questions.

The presidential disaster declaration makes funds available to individuals and families in Forrest, Lamar, Marion and Wayne counties who were affected by the Feb. 10 storms and tornadoes. Funds are also available to the state of Mississippi to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the affected areas.

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