Pearl River County declared for disaster assistance

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

This story has been updated to reflect a scheduling conflict with FEMA.

Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a disaster declaration for Pearl River and George Counties.
That brings the number of counties in Mississippi declared disaster areas to 16, Pearl River County EOC Public Information Officer Tony Bounds said.
Now, victims of the March flood and severe weather are eligible for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program.
In order to be eligible for the FEMA program, each disaster has to be analyzed and a certain damage threshold met, Bounds said.
“That’s why it’s so important to have every victim in households report their own personal damages,” he added. “It gets us to that threshold to get government assistance to help them recover.”
According to an EOC release, FEMA’s program helps eligible applicants with temporary housing assistance, uninsured or underinsured personal property losses, medical dental and funeral expenses caused by this disaster and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to cover residential and business losses not covered by insurance.
Residents affected by flooding can apply now at or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can call 1-800-462-7585 and those who use 711 or video relay services can call 1-800-621-3362 to register, the release states.
The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center for Pearl River County will be established at some point in the near future in the Picayune area. Once established, the center will be open on Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to the release, it is important for people to register by phone or online before visiting the centers. Bounds said FEMA has not indicated how long the centers will be operating in Pearl River County.
“We are very thankful,” Bounds said. “This opens a whole world of assistance for flood victims.”

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