There are different types of assistance available to help individuals, communities and businesses recover from a disaster. The most assistance is usually available during Presidentially Declared Disasters, when federal programs are offered for disaster victims. The two types of federal disaster assistance that MEMA is most heavily involved with are Individual and Public Assistance Programs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Individual Assistance programs can aid homeowners and renters with housing needs and necessary assistance through the Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance programs. The Housing Assistance program may be able to provide grants to help with temporary housing costs, grants to repair damage caused from a disaster or provide a temporary travel trailer or mobile home. The Other Needs Assistance program offers grants to help with other disaster related expenses such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage or other expenses authorized by law.
- Public Assistance programs can help provide federal grants to local and state governments, non-profit organizations and other political subdivisions for the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities. Projects that may qualify for federal reimbursement or a percentage of federal reimbursement include: debris removal, emergency protective measures, road systems and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities and parks and recreational facilities.
During either a U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration or as part of a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the SBA can offer low-interest loans to disaster victims who are homeowners, renters or business owners.
During non-Presidential Disaster Declarations, but when the Governor has issued a State of Emergency, MEMA can offer assistance through the State Temporary Housing Program. Through this program, eligible citizens who are displaced from their homes for more than 72 hours may recieve up to three months of rental assistance.
Other types of disaster assistance can range from Disaster Unemployment Assistance, which is administered by the Mississippi Employment Security Commission or the Disaster Food Stamp program, which is administered by the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
MEMA’s Web site and news releases will help inform citizens when any of these programs are being offered in the state.