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Six Months Later, Federal Support for March Tornadoes Continues

MADISON, Miss. – Six months since the major disaster declaration for the March 24-25 severe storms and tornadoes in Mississippi, $32.7 million and counting in federal support has been approved by FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters and businesses. FEMA remains in the affected communities to support recovery, working with local and state officials to provide temporary housing and Public Assistance grants.

Assistance for Individuals and Households

As of Sept. 21, more than $12.6 million in FEMA grants have been approved for renters and homeowners in Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, Montgomery, Panola and Sharkey counties. 

  • More than $8.2 million in Housing Assistance that helps pay for uninsured home repairs, home replacement and rental assistance for short-term lodging.
  • More than $4.4 million in Other Needs Assistance grants to help pay for uninsured personal property replacement and other serious storm-related needs.

SBA Disaster Loans

The SBA has approved more than $20.1 million in long-term, low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. These flexible loans can help supplement insurance settlements and FEMA grants.

Outreach to Applicants

FEMA’s Enhanced Applicant Services (EAS) team identified and contacted survivors who were challenged by the application and appeals process. The EAS team completed more than 4,900 interviews with applicants, resulting in grants to survivors that they might not have gotten otherwise.

Community Engagement

Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams visited almost 14,000 homes, 545 businesses, 108 community-based organizations, 37 government agencies and 936 faith-based groups.

Many homes were severely damaged or destroyed, which led to survivors temporarily relocating to nearby communities and hotels. DSA teams met survivors where they were and helped them apply for assistance, verify contact information and answer any questions on their FEMA application. 

Hazard Mitigation Community Education and Outreach (CEO) specialists visited two businesses and supported Disaster Recovery Centers to offer rebuilding tips and preparedness information to more than 6,900 homeowners and renters. CEO specialist also gave presentations to children to help prepare them for emergencies. During the Mitigation for Kids presentations, families learned how to stay informed, pack emergency kits and make communication plans. Teams gave the presentation at eight locations and had 690 attendees. 

FEMA and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency operated six Disaster Recovery Centers in a fixed location, eight Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers and two Document Assistance Drop Off Centers. In total, these centers had more than 7,900 visits. 

Temporary Housing

FEMA is working to provide recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and leased homes and apartments to eligible applicants in the six counties.

  • As of Sept. 21, 50 households, totaling 131 individuals, are living in FEMA Temporary Housing.  
    • 37 mobile homes or travel trailers are being used by individuals and households, on their own properties or at commercial mobile home/RV parks. 
    • 13 households are staying in leased homes and apartments as part of the Direct Lease program where FEMA leases existing, ready-to-occupy residential properties.

Public Assistance

FEMA Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. Seven counties were approved for Public Assistance: Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, Montgomery, Panola, Sharkey and Washington. 

As of Sept. 21, $19.9 million has been obligated for 22 projects. In the seven counties, there are 246 projects active projects.

Across all designated counties, more than 1.3 million cubic yards of debris has been removed. Due to the magnitude of damage, President Biden authorized 100% percent federal funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures for a 30-day period of the state’s choosing.

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program aids state, local, tribal and territorial governments, and certain types of nonprofit organizations impacted by federally declared disasters. The assistance allows for reimbursement for eligible work including debris removal, emergency protective measures and repairs to infrastructure and other structures.

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