September 2, 2012 In News
Bay St. Louis – Gov. Phil Bryant met with key local, state and federal leaders to discuss the recovery efforts underway following Hurricane Isaac and the push to make sure people who need help get it.
The meeting was attended by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame and other local leaders.
“We have felt the impacts of Isaac around Mississippi — from storm surge and driving rain to high winds and inland flooding,” Gov. Bryant said. “As we continue the recovery process, I was pleased Saturday evening to learn that portions of Mississippi had been granted an Individual Assistance disaster declaration by the federal government. This will allow eligible individuals and small business in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl River counties to receive needed aid.”
This declaration makes specific federal grants and assistance programs available. Residents in declared counties could be eligible to receive assistance such as:
• Grants for temporary housing and storm-related home repairs.
• Assistance with storm-related medical and dental costs.
• Grants to replace destroyed clothing and household items.
• Crisis counseling.
• Disaster unemployment assistance.
• Disaster legal services.
Individuals and businesses may also be eligible for low-cost loans made available by the Small Business Administration.
Following Isaac’s devastation, 48 counties in Mississippi, as well as lands governed by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, have received a federal disaster declaration for Categories A and B of FEMA Public Assistance, extending FEMA’s 75 percent cost-sharing program for eligible, Isaac-related costs.
Mississippi began preparing early and Gov. Bryant met with MEMA and other officials more than one week ahead of Isaac to put resources into place and communicate with local emergency managers to ensure their needs were met.
On Aug. 26, Gov. Bryant declared a State of Emergency. This administrative action allowed Mississippi to move forward manpower and resources to prepare for Isaac. State, local and federal agencies were also staged and ready ahead of landfall.
“I am proud of Mississippi’s response to Isaac,” Gov. Bryant said. “As of Saturday evening, 815 people have been rescued or aided by emergency evacuation. Emergency responders devote their time to preparing for disasters, and the plan we had in place worked well. Our Mississippi Gulf Coast was also better-prepared to face this storm with stronger buildings, elevated structures and more robust response and communication plans.”
Individuals and business owners in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl River counties who sustained losses can apply for assistance today by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. These toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. until midnight local time seven days per week until further notice. Online application is available at www.disasterassistance.gov or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.