FEMA still offering support for tornado victims

FEMA has opened a Disaster Recovery Center at the Lamar County Safe Room located at 99 Central Industrial Row in Purvis.

 The center is one of three that was opened in response to the tornado that hit the Pine Belt.

Two are located in Forrest County at the Petal Civic Center on South Main Street and C. E. Roy Community Center on 300 E. Fifth St. in Hattiesburg.

Individuals needing assistance following the tornado should visit a disaster recovery center to find out what is available to them.

The disaster recovery centers are providing assistance to those affected by the recent severe storms and tornadoes. The Purvis location is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until further notice.

If possible, those with disaster-related losses are encouraged to register for assistance before going to a disaster recovery center by calling FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.

The helpline hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Registration can also be complete online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

Homeowners, renters and business owners can apply for low-interest disaster loans at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

SBA representatives will be available at each center to answer questions and help survivors complete their disaster loan applications.

For questions, call the SBA disaster customer service center at 800-659-2955 or (TTY) 800-877-8339. Those with trouble hearing should visit sba.gov/disaster.

Recovery centers are run by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Representatives from MEMA, FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration and American Red Cross are set up in the center to explain assistance programs that are available to residents.

Representatives can also help connect survivors with appropriate resources to assist in recovery.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan.

However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

For more information on Mississippi’s tornado recovery, go to fema.gov/disaster/4295 or visit the MEMA site at msema.org. Follow MEMA on Facebook facebook.com/msemaorg and on Twitter @msema.