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By the Numbers: FEMA/MEMA Mississippi Recovery Effort
Filed 8/26/08  GCN



Services at FEMA’s Mississippi Maintenance Applicant Support Call Center in Jackson, Miss. have been interrupted only on two occasions, when tornado warnings were issued and staff evacuated the building. The Call Center has operated 24 hours, seven days a week since it opened July 1, 2006 including all holidays.


29 siren projects have been approved across the state. Each project includes several individual sirens. Hundreds of new sirens in Mississippi will provide an early detection system for residents in the event of natural or man-made disasters.


The Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office (MS TRO) has launched two community outreach initiative programs that have visited 30 Gulf Coast locations. FEMA in the Classroom is designed to empower and educate elementary school-age children to protect themselves, their families and their pets from natural disasters. The MS TRO Speakers’ Bureau offers local FEMA subject matter experts to civic clubs or other organizations to discuss FEMA programs and the Mississippi recovery effort. 



The State of Mississippi has submitted 55 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) projects for locations outside of the lower six counties so the entire state is prepared for future disasters or events. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency administers the HMGP.


Following Hurricane Katrina, FEMA tasked more than 60 federal agencies with Mission Assignments to assist in various projects including search and rescue operations, debris removal, and security and medical support. FEMA issues Mission Assignments to other federal agencies in anticipation of, or in response to, a presidential declaration. Agencies are directed to complete a specific task in accordance with the Stafford Act.


Of the nearly 1,000 FEMA employees currently working in offices throughout the state, approximately 70 percent were Mississippi residents before Katrina. As they rebuild their homes, they serve in the massive recovery effort for their home state. They are one of the many important partners working tirelessly in the recovery.


Out of more than 500,000 Mississippi families who registered for FEMA Individual Assistance and more than 800 local governments and nonprofit organizations eligible for FEMA Public Assistance, only 150 Katrina-related fraud cases were charged in Mississippi from 2005 to 2007. This figure is according to a 2007 report from the U.S. Department of Justice Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force.


Approximately 324 news and radio outlets receive Katrina recovery information from the MS TRO. Of those, 20 outlets are in other states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and California. Wider distribution ensures disaster applicants receive all pertinent,

disaster-related news. 


FEMA Housing Advisors have delivered 2,608 NOAA weather radios to FEMA temporary housing occupants, providing extra protection during hurricane season. During life-threatening weather conditions, NOAA Weather Radios send out a special alarm tone to signal a watch or warning alerting listeners to take appropriate safety measures. 



Approximately 2,803 families have transitioned from FEMA temporary housing to Mississippi Cottages since the Mississippi Alternative Housing Program launched April 1, 2007. FEMA’s Long Term Community Recovery staff provides oversight and technical assistance to MEMA in managing the Mississippi Alternative Housing Program. 


At the peak of FEMA’s temporary housing operation, nearly 43,000 units were occupied. Three years later, slightly more than 4,400 units are currently occupied – a decrease of nearly 90 percent. FEMA Individual Assistance staff has closed 40 emergency group sites, successfully transitioning occupants to repaired homes, rental resources or other alternate living situations.


According to the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service, approximately 700,000 volunteers from across the U.S. have given seven million collective hours of volunteer service to the people of the Gulf Coast in the three years since Katrina. That’s more than 291,000 days of service.

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