March 11, 2006 is the last day new applications will be accepted for disaster assistance through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Mississippi residents and business owners in the 49 disaster-declared counties who sustained damage due to Hurricane Katrina have just one week left to apply for disaster assistance from FEMA.
"We want people to understand that this deadline is only for new disaster applications," said Nick Russo, federal coordinating officer for the Mississippi disaster recovery effort. "If they have already applied, their cases will continue to be processed. Mississippians who need assistance need to register with FEMA before the deadline."
Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses of real and personal property must also be submitted by that date. The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to qualified homeowners, renters, landlords, certain private non-profit organizations and businesses of any size that sustained losses due to the disaster. These loans are designed for people affected by the disaster who are either uninsured or not fully covered by insurance.
“If any family has suffered losses or damages as a result of Hurricane Katrina and has not registered for assistance yet, I urge them to call and register before the March 11 deadline and learn what types of assistance they may be eligible for,” said Robert Latham, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Nearly 516,000 individuals and households have registered for disaster assistance in Mississippi. More than
$1.1 billion in FEMA disaster assistance funds has been disbursed to individuals and households. Additionally, the SBA disaster assistance program has approved nearly $1.7 billion in disaster loans.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials encourage those who have not done so to apply as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. Individuals may also register for disaster assistance online at www.fema.gov.